BMW and TYDE present The Icon, a new kind of standard bearer for sustainable mobility on water, at the 76th Cannes Film Festival
The 76th Cannes Film Festival is underway, but a particularly spectacular world premiere of the bill will take place in the southern French city’s port area rather than on movie screens. This is where the BMW brand and boat manufacturer TYDE present The ICON, a new kind of standard bearer for sustainable mobility on water. ICON is the first battery-powered cruise ship of its kind and combines emissions-free local travel with a vision of luxury that embraces pleasure.
With a length of 13.15 meters and a top speed of 30 knots, ICON is the pioneer of a new generation of battery-electric powered boats. BMW came up with the idea and developed the concept for this pioneering collaborative effort. The innovative project is the result of an intensive exchange of knowledge between experts from countless branches of mobility, led by the BMW team. The designers of The ICON are creatives from the Designworks Innovation Center, a subsidiary of the BMW Group with studios in Los Angeles, Munich and Shanghai. The development and realization of the concept was entrusted to the boat manufacturer TYDE. And the powerful electric drive system draws its power from a high-voltage battery supplied by BMW i.
As the driving force behind The Icon, BMW is once again demonstrating an overall commitment to sustainable mobility that includes not only road transport but also travel by water. The combination of technical expertise from various fields creates innovative solutions that are at the heart of the people.
ICON also embodies a future-oriented form of luxury. The innovative vessel attracts with its unique design and also offers a completely new mobility experience to the passengers. Here, amidst an exclusive atmosphere on board, exquisite comfort converges with a significantly reduced environmental impact.
ICON uses battery electric drive systems to set new standards in its industry in several ways. Until now, marine electric mobility has been limited to small, slow vessels with relatively short range. And the segment of the fastest and longest-range boats is dominated by models with combustion engines. ICON redefines this relationship between dimensions, top speed and range of an electric boat.
Making this possible is a yacht racing innovation: hydrofoils. They reduce the power requirement by up to 80 percent compared to conventional helmets. Foiling technology, in which the vehicle rides on wing structures below water level while the hull floats above the surface of the water, also provides a high level of ride comfort and high speed.
A pair of 100 kW electric motors converts 240 kWh of energy supplied by the BMW i3’s six batteries into an impressive range of over 50 nautical miles (about 100 km). The ship can reach an operational speed of 24 knots, while its top speed is 30 knots (55 km/h). Powered by its innovative drive system and foiling technology, the Icon runs almost silently, without vibration or shock and without sending out waves.
Meanwhile, the Dolby Atmos system, with its ability to deliver excellent audio quality, ensures an equally impressive onboard soundscape. When it came time to develop the sound concept for the task at hand, which included powertrain notes and pleasant, smooth function tones, BMW turned to double Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer. Powerful acoustic compositions by Hollywood composers herald a new era in the enjoyment of sustainable travel on water.
The Icon: Its unique innovative power is also reflected in its design.
The design team was tasked with translating ICON’s unique concept into an iconic experience, from its initial visual impact from the outside to the view inside. The body of the boat, composed of a very flat hull and a central support element for the transparent architecture, is shaped by a technically precise design language. The original contour, with its prism shape, allows for a width of 4.5 meters at the rear. This forms a very spacious entrance to the great hall. The helmet itself stands out with its lightweight origami structure. The designers seized the opportunity to replace the traditional side sections of the boat with large glass surfaces, with foiling technology enabling a particularly smooth ride experience. Hence, passengers enjoy an extraordinary view while gliding over the water. Modern LED light strips at the bow and stern, and at the charging connection points, boost the ICON’s iconic effect.
The Icon – A social gathering place that’s at home in any port.
Angled glass doors give access to a living room reminiscent of a kaleidoscope, with artfully designed furniture on a plush rug. Each piece is made of sections of sheet metal whose grainy surface structure reflects sunlight onto the ground like waves in the ocean.
The 360° swivel seats are at the heart of the user-centric experience, with all essential amenities including the tablet-based infotainment system arranged within reach. With a simple twist, the seats can be repositioned to facilitate social interaction. It makes a great meeting center that will feel at home at any port or jetty.
The BMW Interface groups marine instruments within a single digital control unit.
The boat’s command station is located amidships on deck and represents an attractive proposition with the boat’s hull and instruments in authentic BMW design. Taking the place of the traditional marine instrument matrix is a new interpretation of the BMW interface which includes all the important functions within a single digital control unit. The intersection between man and machine is presented in the form of a 32-inch touch screen with 6k resolution and the presence of the BMW iDrive control/operation system. In partnership with BMW Operating System 8, it opens up a new dimension in information visualization and digital interaction. Key features like range information and weather reports can be called up using voice commands.
The vessel, first unveiled at Cannes, is not a design study or concept, but a fully production-ready example of pioneering technology of its kind. The Icon is underpinned by a platform concept that offers wide adaptability to individual wishes and needs, both in terms of emotional experience and interior design. It is focused on modern and urban lifestyles and can be used as a means of sea transport by both luxury-conscious private customers and the commercial sector. The vessels produced based on ICON will accelerate the cause of emission free luxury mobility on water and open a new segment. Its mission will be to inspire CO2-free mobility in water: without polluting the environment, without noise, but with maximum comfort.
ICON impresses with a powerful drive system that produces no noise or emissions. The foiling technique allows it to reach high speeds without generating waves or dragging a wake behind it. In fact, the only thing ICON leaves behind during each trip is joy and happiness.
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