BMW x TYDE The Icon Electric Watercraft
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Last month it marked the exciting collaboration between BMW and TYDE that took everyone by surprise. The team promised a state-of-the-art sea vessel with zero carbon footprint, which intrigued us about the design details and functionalities. Designworks is where this vehicle was conceived, and given its history of crafting iconic designs since the '80s, many people were speculating about it. The unveiled result, known as The ICON, surpassed all expectations at the distinguished 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
A significant milestone in BMW Designworks' history is marked by the ICON, which has a length of 13m and, with a height of roughly 43 feet, it is an impressive feat of engineering. This boat's departure from traditional marine design norms has made it unique in that it is far more than simply an abstract idea or concept. In France, where it made an impressive entrance and became ready for production is where its reality proved itself.
One of the main challenges faced by electric boats is matching the range and speed of their combustion engine counterparts, but this field has seen ICON emerge as a game-changer. The ship is said to be the first electric marine vessel in its class with a top speed capability of reaching up to thirty knots while traveling a maximum distance equivalent to around fifty nautical miles, which translates to roughly fifty-seven point-five regular land-based road mileage units.
Moreover, the use of pioneering hydrofoil technology supported by two electric motors is what makes this performance so exceptional. By using six batteries sourced from the BMW i3 for conversion purposes, these motors are capable of producing an impressive 100kW energy output. Additionally, using hydrofoils provides the additional advantage of requiring only 20% energy compared to traditional boats, thus allowing them to glide through the water effortlessly while causing minimal disturbance.
The interior of ICON is just as striking as its exterior, making it an impressive architectural wonder, providing an unparalleled level of luxury with features such as expansive lounge areas and massive glass windows coupled with six 360-degree rotating chairs, making this boat unique.
Tablet-based infotainment systems featured on these chairs offer an immersive experience to passengers, akin to the controls found in a BMW's iDrive system. The command station features a similarly impressive setup, complete with voice commands and a large 6k touchscreen measuring an impressive size of 32 inches. In addition to being state-of-the-art equipment, this setup boasts an onboard soundscape created by the legendary composer Hans Zimmer. Although BMW has yet to disclose its pricing and availability, more information is available on its official press site.