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BMW unveils wild new design for an all-electric boat that can 'float' across the water: 'Love it'

The Icon is not just a design concept.

The Icon sets sail as an all-electric hydrofoil boat from BMW

Photo Credit: iStock

BMW Group Designworks, in collaboration with German yacht builder Tyde, unveiled their newest creation — an all-electric hydrofoil boat called The Icon — during Cannes Film Festival in 2023.

The Icon can cruise with a top speed of 30 knots (34.5 miles per hour), and its hydrofoil hull design means that it needs to use 80% less energy than a conventionally shaped boat, which would drag a larger wake. 

A hydrofoil is a lifting surface that operates in water. As a hydrofoil boat speeds up, the foil surface lifts the boat so that it is practically floating above the water, decreasing drag and allowing greater speeds and less energy usage.

According to Electrek, The Icon is powered by two 100 kW motors, dispersed between six BMW battery packs, and can travel up to 50 nautical miles (57.5 miles) before needing a recharge. Due to the electric motors and foils, it is virtually noiseless.

And if that wasn't enough, the boat's audio elements were designed by Hans Zimmer, the acclaimed German film score composer known for his work on such movies as "The Lion King," "The Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, "The Dark Knight" Trilogy, and many others. 

Per Electrek, Zimmer designed a "drive system sound note and intentional function tones" for The Icon, providing users with a "modern driving soundtrack."

BMW described some of the boat's other features, writing, "The angled glass doors of the watercraft open to a lounge area with artistically designed furniture on a luxurious carpet that creates a kaleidoscope effect. Constructed from sections of metal, the hull of the watercraft reflects sunlight onto the floor like waves on the sea. The user-focused experience centers around the 360° rotating seats. The essential features, including an easy-to-reach, tablet-based infotainment system, are arranged within reach."

While The Icon is on display at Cannes, it is not just a design concept — BMW Group has made clear that it will be available for purchase, though it is not clear how high that price tag will be.

Electrek's commenters were impressed by the uniquely designed boat.

"Love it," wrote one commenter.

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