World premiere at the Port de Cannes: BMW and TYDE present THE ICON.


Munich/Cannes. The 76th Cannes Film Festival is
underway, but one particularly spectacular world premiere on the bill
will be experienced in the port area of the southern French town
rather than on a cinema screen. This is where the BMW brand and boat
maker TYDE are presenting THE ICON, a new kind of flagbearer for
sustainable mobility on water. THE ICON is the first battery-powered
marine craft of its kind and brings together locally emission-free
travel with a vision of luxury that embraces pleasure.

At 13.15 metres in length and with a top speed of 30 knots, THE ICON
is a trailblazer for a new breed of watercraft with battery-electric
drive. BMW came up with the idea and developed the concept for this
pioneering collaborative endeavour. The innovative project is the
result of an in-depth sharing of knowledge between experts from myriad
branches of mobility, with the BMW team at the helm. Responsible for
the design of THE ICON are the creatives at innovation hub
Designworks, a BMW Group subsidiary with studios in Los Angeles,
Munich and Shanghai. The development and realisation of the concept
was entrusted to boat maker TYDE. And the powerful electric drive
system sources its energy from high-voltage batteries supplied by BMW
i. The marine travel experience created through this confluence of
talents is accompanied by an exclusive soundtrack composed by
award-winning film score luminary Hans Zimmer.

BMW points the way for innovative concepts driving sustainable mobility.

As the pioneering force behind THE ICON, BMW is once again
demonstrating a holistic commitment to sustainable mobility that
encompasses not only road transportation but also travel on water.
Pooling technological expertise from various fields creates
ground-breaking solutions that have people at their heart.

THE ICON also encapsulates a future-facing form of luxury. The
innovative craft appeals with its unique design, and it also offers
passengers a totally new experience of mobility. Here, amid an
exclusive on-board ambience, exquisite comfort converges with a
significantly reduced environmental impact.

Innovations from yacht racing enable electrification and
decarbonisation on the water.

THE ICON uses a battery-electric drive system to set new standards in
its sector in various ways. Up to now, marine electric mobility has
been restricted to smaller, slower craft with comparatively little
range. And the segment for faster boats with longer range is dominated
by models with combustion engines. THE ICON redefines this
relationship between the dimensions, top speed and range of an
electrically powered watercraft.

Making this possible is an innovation from yacht racing: hydrofoils.
These reduce the energy requirement by up to 80 per cent compared with
a conventional hull. The foiling technology – whereby the craft rides
on wing structures below the water level, while the hull floats above
the surface of the water – also provides a higher level of travelling
comfort and higher speeds.

A pair of 100 kW electric motors convert the 240 kWh of energy
supplied by six batteries from the BMW i3 into an eye-catching range
of more than 50 nautical miles (approx. 100 km). The craft can deliver
an operating speed of 24 knots, while its maximum speed is 30 knots
(55 km/h). Spurred on by its innovative drive system and foiling
technology, THE ICON makes almost silent progress, without vibrations
or shocks and without sending out waves.

Ensuring a similarly impressive on-board soundscape, meanwhile, is
the Dolby Atmos system, with its ability to deliver superb audio
quality. When it came to developing the sound concept – comprising the
drive system note and pleasant, intuitive function tones – for the job
at hand, BMW turned to double Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer. The
revolutionary acoustic creations conjured by the Hollywood composer
soundtrack a new era in the enjoyment of sustainable travel on water.

THE ICON: unparalleled innovative power also reflected in its design.

The design team had the task of translating the unique concept of THE
ICON into an iconic experience – from its initial visual impact from
the outside to the view out from the inside. The body of the
watercraft, which is made up of a very flat hull and a central support
element for the transparent architecture, is shaped by a technically
precise design language. The basic outline, with its prism-like form,
enables a width of 4.5 metres in the rear section. This creates a very
spacious entrance into the luxurious lounge. The hull itself stands
out with its origami lightweight structure. With the foiling
technology enabling a particularly smooth traveling experience, the
designers took the opportunity to replace the conventional side
sections of a watercraft with large glass surfaces. Passengers
therefore enjoy an extraordinary view while they glide above the
water. Modern LED light strips at the bow and stern, and on the
charging connection points feed into the iconic effect of THE ICON.

THE ICON: a social meeting place that’s at home in any port.

Angled glass doors provide access to a lounge area which, with its
artistically designed furniture on a luxurious carpet, brings to mind
a kaleidoscope. Every piece is formed from sections of metal sheeting
whose granular surface structure reflects the sunlight onto the floor
like waves on the sea.

The 360° rotating seats are at the core of a user-focused experience,
with all essential features – including a tablet-based infotainment
system – arranged within reach. With a simple twist, the seats can be
re-positioned to facilitate social interaction. This creates a fine
meeting hub that will feel at home in any port or harbour.

BMW interface groups nautical instruments within a digital
control unit.

The craft’s command station is located centrally on the deck and
represents a compelling proposition with its ship’s wheel and
instruments in authentic BMW design. Taking the place of the
traditional array of nautical instruments is a fresh interpretation of
the BMW interface containing all important functions within a digital
control unit. The intersection between human and machine comes in the
form of a 32-inch touchscreen display with 6k resolution and the look
and feel of the BMW iDrive control/operation system. Teaming up with
BMW Operating System 8, this unlocks a new dimension in information
visualisation and digital interaction. Key functions such as range
information and weather reports can be called up using voice commands.

The watercraft revealed in Cannes for the first time is not a design
study or a concept, but instead a fully production-ready example of
its kind boasting pioneering technology. THE ICON is underpinned by a
platform concept offering comprehensive adaptability to individual
wishes and needs in terms of both the emotional experience and
interior design. It is focused on modern, urban lifestyles and can be
used as a means of marine transport both by luxury-conscious private
customers and in the commercial sector. The craft produced on the
basis of THE ICON will accelerate the cause of emission-free luxury
mobility on water and open up a whole new segment. Their mission will
be to inspire CO2-free water-bound mobility – without
polluting the environment, without any noise, but with comfort turned
up to the max.

THE ICON impresses with a powerful drive system that creates neither
noise nor emissions. Foiling technology allows it to reach high speeds
without generating waves or dragging out a wake behind it. Indeed, the
only things THE ICON leaves behind during every journey are pleasure
and joy.


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