BMW’s Iconic Luxury Watercraft Takes Sailing into the Future

2 mins read

BMW made waves at the Cannes Festival last year with The Icon, a groundbreaking luxury watercraft developed in collaboration with naval tech startup Tyde. Priced at a reported $2.6 million, this flying luxury yacht boasts a unique design, fully electric power, and a commitment to sustainability.

At the 2023 Cannes Festival, BMW and Tyde showcased The Icon, emphasizing its production-ready status and its potential to revolutionize luxury sailing. The watercraft features an all-glass superstructure, an electric propulsion system with a 240 kWh battery pack, and a distinctive prism-like design atop a trimaran-style flat hull.

While most of us can only appreciate The Icon through pictures and videos, notable carfluencer Supercar Blondie recently had the opportunity to tour and drive it in Dubai. The video provides a closer look at the watercraft’s surprising design and stunning aesthetics.

Measuring 43 feet (13.15 meters), The Icon functions as a floating VIP lounge with expansive glazing, plush interiors, and advanced technology. Its hydrofoils allow it to “fly” over water at speeds of up to 30 knots, ensuring a smooth and efficient sailing experience. BMW claims an 80% increase in efficiency when sailing on hydrofoils.

Despite its luxurious features, questions arise about The Icon’s everyday functionality. With a range of 62 miles per charge and the absence of onboard facilities like a restroom, some suggest it may be more akin to a dayboat or tender. BMW, however, plans to offer various layouts, potentially including bathrooms, as battery technology evolves.

The central command station of The Icon features a 6k 32-inch touch digital control unit inspired by BMW’s iDrive operating system, voice control, and a Dolby Atmos sound system with music composed by Hans Zimmer. BMW envisions The Icon as a precursor to a new era of zero-emission luxury mobility at sea, with plans to apply its solutions to future vehicles and applications.

While critics question its everyday practicality, The Icon represents a significant step toward sustainable luxury yachts, opening a new segment in the world of maritime transportation. Despite its limitations, The Icon’s futuristic design and premium environment reflect BMW’s commitment to shaping the future of luxury mobility at sea.