The 76th Cannes Film Festival is currently taking place, but one of the most exciting premieres won’t be on the silver screen. Instead, it’s happening in the port area of the southern French city where BMW and boat manufacturer TYDE are introducing THE ICON, a symbol of a more sustainable future for water mobility. THE ICON is the first marine vessel of its kind, combining emission-free travel with luxury.
Spanning 13.15 meters and achieving top speeds of 30 knots, THE ICON heralds a new breed of electric propulsion boats. The concept was sparked and developed by BMW in partnership with TYDE. This innovative project is the result of extensive knowledge sharing between experts from various mobility sectors, led by BMW teams. Designworks, an innovation center and BMW Group subsidiary with studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Shanghai, are responsible for THE ICON’s design.
TYDE has overseen the development and implementation of the concept. The powerful electric propulsion system draws its energy from high-voltage batteries supplied by BMW i. The maritime travel experience created by this unique collaboration is accompanied by an exclusive soundtrack composed by twice Oscar-winning film music icon Hans Zimmer.
As the forerunner of THE ICON, BMW once again shows its global commitment to more sustainable mobility, which extends not only to road transport, but also to water travel. Pooling technical expertise from various fields enables the creation of groundbreaking solutions that put people at the center.
THE ICON also embodies a forward-looking form of luxury. This innovative boat impresses with its unique design and offers passengers a completely new mobility experience. Here, exquisite onboard comfort converges with significantly reduced environmental impact.
Innovations derived from yacht racing enable electrification & decarbonization on water.
THE ICON uses a battery electric propulsion system to set new standards in its sector in several respects. Until now, electric marine mobility was limited to smaller, slower boats with relatively low range. The segment of faster, long-range boats is dominated by models with combustion engines. THE ICON redefines the relationship between size, top speed, and range of an electric propulsion boat.
This is made possible by an innovation derived from yacht racing: hydrofoils. These reduce energy requirements by up to 80% compared to a conventional hull. Foil technology – where the vessel rides on wing-like structures below the waterline, with the hull floating above the water surface – also enhances travel comfort and enables higher speeds.
Two 100 kW electric motors convert the 240 kWh of energy supplied by six BMW i3 batteries into an impressive range of over 50 nautical miles (approximately 100 km). The boat can reach an operating speed of 24 knots and a top speed of 30 knots (55 km/h). Thanks to its innovative propulsion system and foil technology, THE ICON moves almost silently, without vibrations or bumps, and without creating waves.
The Dolby Atmos system, providing exceptional audio quality, ensures equally impressive onboard sound. When it came to developing the sound concept – including the note of the drive system and the pleasant, intuitive tones of the functions – for the task at hand, BMW turned to Hans Zimmer, a double Academy Award winner. The revolutionary acoustic creations conceived by the Hollywood composer mark the beginning of a new era in sustainable water travel enjoyment.
THE ICON: unmatched innovation power that is also reflected in its design.
The design team’s mission was to translate THE ICON’s unique concept into an iconic experience – from its initial visual impact from the outside to the view from inside. The boat’s fuselage, which consists of a very flat hull and a central support element for the transparent architecture, is shaped by a technically precise design language. The basic silhouette, with its prism shape, allows a width of 4.5 meters in the rear part. This creates a very spacious entrance to the luxurious
THE ICON impresses with a powerful propulsion system that generates neither noise nor emissions. Foil technology allows it to reach high speeds without generating waves or dragging a wake behind it. Indeed, THE ICON leaves behind nothing but fun and joy on every journey.