Renowned carmaker BMW and maritime pioneer TYDE have unveiled THE ICON, a high-end electric watercraft yacht that soars above water. Revealed at Port de Cannes, THE ICON is a one-of-a-kind geometric and elevated hydrofoil yacht that leverages the German automaker’s high-voltage “BMW i” batteries to achieve emission-free travel combined with luxurious aesthetics.
Hovering ever so gently above the water, THE ICON is a small-sized battery-powered yacht with a stunning, faceted gem-like design. Unlike other yachts its size, THE ICON ditches the combustion engine for an electric powertrain, while also relying on a hydrofoil that heavily decreases aerodynamic drag, making it not just dazzling to the eye, but even when it comes to hitting high speeds.
Designers: BMW & TYDE
THE ICON measures 13.15 meters and has a top speed of 30 knots or 55 km/h. It uses hydrofoils, a technology borrowed from yacht racing, to achieve high speeds and reduce energy use. The hydrofoils lift the hull above the water, reducing resistance and enabling faster speeds. The foiling technology is only one aspect of THE ICON’s advanced design. The watercraft is powered by a pair of 100 kW electric motors that convert the energy from six BMW i3 batteries into a range of over 50 nautical miles. This extended range is a significant achievement for battery-powered marine craft.
THE ICON is a product of Designworks, BMW’s innovative design hub, in collaboration with boat manufacturer TYDE. The design of THE ICON is a departure from conventional maritime aesthetics, with a body that spans 4.5 meters at its broadest point in the rear, tapering to a semi-pointed tip reminiscent of a flat hull design. Geometric lines contour the body, perfectly framing the expansive ocean views.
The interior design of THE ICON is inspired by origami, creating an inviting and visually striking environment. The sloping ceiling and intricate design elements combined with the large windows create a light-filled, refreshing space. The color scheme, dominated by green and blue hues, enhances the fresh, modern atmosphere.
Unique design choices continue at the entrance of THE ICON, where BMW has fashioned angled doors. These doors aren’t merely functional; they’re sculpted from sections of metal sheeting to echo the curves of the interior design elements. This results in a textured surface that reflects sunlight onto the floor, recreating the beautiful interplay of light that one might see with waves on the sea. The chairs in the interior rotate 360°, offering occupants a stunning panoramic view of the sea around them as well as of the yacht’s edgy, luxurious design.
Adding to the unique experience on THE ICON, BMW has partnered with renowned film score composer Hans Zimmer to provide an exclusive soundtrack for passengers. This soundtrack further enhances the experience for riders who can hop onto THE ICON for a short spin in the waters of the Bay of Cannes.
BMW unveiled THE ICON at the prestigious Port de Cannes, a fitting launch venue for this innovative watercraft. With THE ICON, BMW and THE TYDE have successfully combined luxury design and environmentally conscious performance to create a new paradigm in marine travel. This watercraft invites passengers to experience the future of luxury marine travel, where design, performance, and carbon-free transport intersect.