Last month, when BMW and boat manufacturer TYDE announced they were teaming up on an innovative emission-free watercraft with a “future-focused” aesthetic, we could only imagine what that could possibly entail. We knew it would be conceived by BMW Group’s design studio, Designworks, who’s been responsible for some of the marque’s most iconic vehicles and vehicle components since the ‘80s. And yet, as the ICON gets officially revealed this week at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, few had any idea it would look as good as this.
Stretching 13.15m in length (~43ft), the ICON isn’t the first boat made with the help of BMW’s Designworks but it’s the first that doesn’t exactly look like a traditional seafaring vessel. Originally thought to be a mere design concept, the example that debuted in France turned out to be production-ready. While electric boats have a hard time keeping up with the range and speeds of combustion engine counterparts, the ICON aims to be the solution. Billed as the “first battery-powered marine craft of its kind,” the boat can hit a top speed of 30 knots with a max range of 50 nautical miles (~57.5mi) all thanks to its hydrofoil technology backed by a pair of electric motors that convert six batteries taken from the BMW i3 into 100kW of energy. By requiring 80% less energy, hydrofoils allow a boat to cut through water more efficiently with less resistance and fewer waves.
Looking like an architectural marvel on the outside, the interior is just as spectacular, with spacious lounge areas, large glass windows, and six chairs that rotate 360 degrees. Each of the rotating chairs has its own tablet-based infotainment system. The command station features a 32-inch 6k touchscreen, voice control, and iDrive-style controls similar to the ones found in your BMW. And it’s all backed by an onboard soundscape composed by Hans Zimmer.
No information has been given yet on pricing or availability, but you can head over to BMW’s press site to learn more.