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June 19, 2024

THE ICON: BMW’s new electric luxury yacht

Arushi Sakhuja 
Luxury automobile giant BMW is pushing the boundaries when it comes to design and technology. Not only are the cars worth the rage and the hefty price tag, but the automotive company has extended its expertise by introducing its first-ever luxury yacht, THE ICON. Transferring technology and expertise from the road to the water, THE ICON supports the concept of sustainable mobility on the water while creating a new experience that reimagines luxury and mobility. Built together with world-leading experts and boat builder TYDE, THE ICON is a luxurious yet emission-free form of transport.
THE ICON
Photo Courtesy: BMW
THE ICON
Photo Courtesy: BMW
Sleek and futuristic in design, the interplay of two factors was crucial in creating the vehicle: a focus on innovation and the joy of sustainable mobility. Peter Dengler, head of THE ICON project, shared,  “Mobility on water is nearly ten times more energy-intensive than mobility on land. Our team was particularly driven by the idea of creating the magical combination of innovation, digitalization and the relationship between people and technology, but most importantly, an incomparable zero-emission experience for the water.”
BMW yacht

Photo Courtesy: BMW

The design 
With its sleek design, the Icon promises to captivate everyone. It looks almost architectural with more aircraft-inspired elements than a traditional boat. The Icon boasts an oversized glasshouse nestled between a distinctive green-coloured wing-like roof.
When designing THE ICON, the design team was not looking to design a boat, but a new experience on the water said Tom Allemeier, Director of Design at Designworks. “So instead of the conventional side of the ship, a ceiling-high panorama window forms the outer facade. The result for passengers inside is a whole new experience with an unobstructed view – a luxurious ‘Infinite Space View’. This makes the view across the deck seem endless, merging with the water and the horizon,” he continued. The facade of the yacht can hence be termed unorthodox.
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Photo Courtesy: BMW
However, the external design language is also reflected in the interiors evoking a sense of luxury of a modern lounge. Each passenger takes a seat in their own swivelling chair, including their own infotainment interface. A high-end DOLBY ATMOS audio system is on board. The interior space is promoted into a living space. The 14.7-ft-wide yacht has a lavish space called the aft salon that showcases avant-garde angular furniture and the seats rotate 360 degrees allowing views from all angles.
Tech Specifics
THE ICON
Photo Courtesy: BMW
At the helm, traditional nautical controls are replaced with a state-of-the-art digital command centre. An oversized 32-inch 6K HMI touchscreen, running on BMW Operating System 8, offers intuitive, car-derived controls. The digital information presentation and voice commands evoke the feeling of being on the road, inside an electric BMW. Powering THE ICON are six BMW I batteries, boasting a total capacity of 240 kWh. Paired with hydrofoils and two 100-kW motors, this 43.14-ft yacht can cover up to 50 nautical miles per charge, reaching a top speed of 56 km/h. The yacht is to make its debut in real life at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.
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Arushi Sakhuja

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