BMW and Tyde present The Icon, a new symbol for sustainable mobility on the water

BMW and Tyde present The Icon, a new symbol for sustainable mobility on the water

World premiere in Cannes, BMW and Tyde present The Icon

Motor boat

19/05/2023 - 10:33

The 76th Cannes International Film Festival has begun, and we can experience the spectacular world premiere not in a cinema but in the harbour of the southern French city. BMW and the boat manufacturer Tyde are presenting The Icon, a new symbol for sustainable mobility on the water.

Innovations from sailing racing enable impressive propulsion

The Icon sets new standards in several respects with its battery-electric drive. Until now, maritime electromobility has been limited to smaller, slower vehicles with a comparatively short range. The segment of faster, larger boats with a longer range is currently still 100 percent dominated by models with combustion engines. The Icon redefines the relationship between an electrically powered watercraft's dimensions, top speed and range.

This is made possible by an innovation from the world of yacht racing: so-called hydrofoils reduce energy requirements by up to 80 percent compared to a conventional hull. The foiling technique, in which wings below the water level support the vehicle while the hull floats above the water surface, achieves higher level of ride comfort and a higher speed.

Two 100 kW electric motors each convert the energy content of 240 kWh provided by six batteries from the BMW i3 into a range of over 50 nautical miles (100 km) at 24 knots (45 km/h). The maximum speed is 30 knots (55 km/h). With its innovative drive and thanks to foiling technology, The Icon enables almost silent cruising without vibrations, jolts or wave impact.
The Dolby Atmos system provides impressive sound quality for an equally impressive soundscape on board. Two-time Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer was on board for the sound concept, including pleasant, intuitive, functional sounds in addition to the drive sound. The revolutionary sound design of the Hollywood sound artist stands for a new era of pleasure in sustainable locomotion on the water.

Unique innovative strength is also reflected in the design

The design team had the task of transforming the unique concept of The Icon into an iconic experience: from the first sight to the view. The body of the watercraft, composed of a very flat hull and a central support for the transparent architecture, is characterised by a technically precise design language. The floor plan, with its prism-like shape, allows for a width of 4.5 metres in the stern area. This creates an exceptionally spacious entrance into the luxurious saloon. A lightweight origami structure characterises the hull itself. Since the foiling technique allows for a tranquil cruising experience, the designers took the opportunity to replace the conventional ship's side with large glass surfaces. Giving passengers an extraordinary view while they float above the water. Modern LED light strips at the bow and stern, as well as at the loading connection points, contribute to the iconic effect of The Icon.

The hull itself features a lightweight origami structure, and its height allows passengers to maintain an upright posture throughout the interior. As the most emotional and sculptural element in The Icon's design, it contrasts with the prismatic windows and roof surfaces. The body, which supports both the roof and the glass walls, is in a two-tone turquoise colour scheme inspired by the colours of the sea. The extensive glass walls offer passengers a generous view as they float over the water and enjoy the luxurious ambience on board.

The Icon as a social meeting place - at home in every port

Angled glass doors give access to a salon reminiscent of a kaleidoscope with artfully designed pieces of furniture arranged on a luxurious carpet. Each piece of furniture is formed from metal sheets whose grainy surface texture reflects sunlight onto the floor like waves on the sea.

The 360° rotating seats allow for a user-centric experience with everything needed within easy reach - including a tablet infotainment system. With a simple rotation, the seats can be arranged for social interaction. They are creating a great meeting place that can moor in any port.

New interface combines nautical instruments in one digital control unit.

The steering position is centrally located on the deck and features a steering wheel and instruments in authentic BMW design. Instead of numerous nautical instruments, all functions are combined in one digital control unit. The interface between man and machine is a 32-inch touch display with 6k resolution in the look and feel of the BMW iDrive operating system. This enables a new dimension of information visualisation and digital interaction. Essential functions such as range information and weather reports can be called up by voice control, and the lights and climate can also be controlled by voice control.

The watercraft shown for the first time in Cannes is neither a design study nor a concept but a series product with pioneering technology for private or even commercial use. The vehicles produced based on THE ICON will advance emission-free luxury mobility on the water and open up an entirely new segment. They are intended to inspire CO2 -free mobility at sea - without environmental pollution, without noise, but with maximum comfort.

THE ICON impresses with a powerful drive that is silent and emission-free. The vehicle is fast, thanks to foiling technology, without causing waves or dragging wake behind it. So THE ICON leaves nothing but joy behind on every trip.

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