BMW Unveils Elegant Electric Hydrofoil Boat At Cannes
Incorporating hydrofoil technology, this emission-free watercraft floats above the surface of the water.
Among the drama and opulence of some of Hollywood’s finest congregating in the French Riviera, a new kind of ingenue has emerged. BMW, in collaboration with boat maker Tyde, debuted the world’s first battery-powered watercraft of its kind at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.
Fittingly dubbed The Icon, the striking marine craft sees the German marque take its electrification strategy off the road and onto the sea. The newcomer spans 13.15 metres and is powered by a pair of 100 kW electric motors that convert the 240 kW of energy supplied by the six batteries from the BMW i3 into a range of just over 100km, with a top speed of 55km/h.
Applying a forward-thinking approach to luxury, The Icon fuses unique design with on-board comfort while reducing environmental impact. Redefining the watercraft’s relationship with the water, The Icon incorporates an innovation sourced from yacht racing. The use of hydrofoils reduce the energy requirement of the watercraft by up to 80 percent while allowing the hull to sit above the surface of the water — rather than below it, as is the case with conventional boats.
Conveying the idiosyncratic appeal of The Icon in its design language, the watercraft deviates from traditional boating forms. The body of The Icon is comprised of a flat hull and a central support element for the transparent architecture. The prism-like glass form allows for a width of 4.5 metres in the rear section, creating the ideal space for a luxurious lounge area. The hull itself recalls the delicate angularity of origami, with its lightweight structure that floats atop the ocean decorated with LED strip lights.
Inside, The Icon takes on an almost kaleidoscopic design, defined by generous geometrically arranged windows and a sloped ceiling. Rendered in tones of green and blue, it’s more akin to a luxury lounge than a cabin. 360° rotating seats complete with infotainment systems are designed to facilitate social interaction and entertainment in equal measure, representing the ideal meeting hub on the sea. The ambience is cemented by an exclusive on-board soundtrack composed by Academy Award-winning luminary Hans Zimmer.
Unveiled in Cannes for the first time, The Icon is a fully production-ready example designed to encourage CO2-free water-bound mobility, and is underpinned by a platform concept that allows for customisation to account for individual wishes.
Devoid of noise and emissions, The Icon by BMW and Tyde represents a new way forward in marine transportation.
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