Icon rises to the occasion

Riley Riley

Talk about one-upmanship. Looked what’s just popped up. 

Close on the heels of the Polestar-powered Candela C8, BMW has taken the wraps off its own battery-powered hydrofoil in partnership with boat maker Tyde.

Named The Icon, BMW describes the craft as the first battery-powered marine craft of its kind and as a new kind of flag bearer for sustainable mobility on water.

At 13.15 metres in length, The Icon has a top speed of 30 knots and range of 50 nautical miles.

Revealed in Cannes, it’s not a design study or concept, but a fully-working, production-ready example.

BMW says it came up with the idea and developed the concept for this pioneering collaborative endeavour.

It’s the result of in-depth sharing of knowledge between experts from different branches of mobility, with BMW at the helm.

The concept is the work of Designworks, a BMW subsidiary with studios in Los Angeles, Munich and Shanghai.

Development and realisation of the project was entrusted to Tyde.

Until now BMW says marine electric mobility has been restricted to smaller, slower craft with comparatively little range.

The powerful electric drive system sources its energy from high-voltage batteries supplied by BMW i.

A pair of 100kW electric motors convert the 240kWh of energy supplied by six batteries from the BMW i3 into an operating speed of 24 knots.

The result is almost silent progress, without vibrations or shocks — and without generating waves.

Making this possible is hydrofoil technology sourced from yacht racing.

It reduces the energy required by up to 80 per cent compared with a conventional hull.

With the foiling technology enabling smooth travel, designers took the opportunity to replace the conventional side sections of a watercraft with large glass surfaces.

Passengers enjoy an extraordinary view while they glide above the water.

The wheel and instruments follow an 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.

Teamed with BMW Operating System 8, it unlocks a new dimension in information visualisation and digital interaction.

Key functions such as range information and weather reports can be called up with voice commands.

The marine travel experience is accompanied by an exclusive soundtrack composed by award-winning film score luminary Hans Zimmer.


CHECKOUT: Leg up for electric hydrofoil

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