Home » BMW Shoved Six i3 Batteries Into A Hydrofoil Yacht And Called It ‘THE ICON’

BMW Shoved Six i3 Batteries Into A Hydrofoil Yacht And Called It ‘THE ICON’

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For the past 46 years, BMW’s flagship has always been the 7-Series. Sure, various 8-Series coupes have come and gone, but the big sedan was always the move for big business people on the big go. However, there is a new flagship, and it’s a rather literal one. Say hello to THE ICON, an ultra-luxurious yacht built in collaboration with boat maker Tyde and powered solely by electricity.

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Deep within the hull sit six i3 battery packs. Yes, that i3. Connected to a pair of 100 kW motors, the batteries make for a cruising range of 50 nautical miles, or about 62 non-nautical miles, at an operating speed of 24 knots. Top speed is a rather impressive 30 knots (55 km/h), not bad for a combustion-powered craft of this size, let alone an EV. Best of all, it’s not like total battery pack capacity is off the scale. With 240 kWh of energy on-board with a full charge, this thing’s battery pack isn’t worlds larger than the one in a GMC Hummer EV. A green yacht, who’d have thought?

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So how does something this big using these battery packs move with this range and pace? The answer is hydrofoils. Instead of pushing its hull through the water, the ICON glides on submersed wings for improved speed and efficiency. Just like how drag is the big enemy of electric cars, drag is also the enemy for electric boats. After all, air and water are both fluids. This is similar in concept to what boatmaker Candela is doing.

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The hydrofoil design also leads to great space aboard. BMW was able to keep the hull essentially flat, and offer a cabin width of 4.5 meters at the rear of the vessel. Speaking of size, THE ICON clocks in at just over 43 feet from stem to stern. It’s not exactly a superyacht, but it’s not a dinghy either.

Hey, that looks a bit like iDrive

Step inside, and you may notice that this ship features a variant of iDrive. A 32-inch 6K touchscreen display running a version of BMW’s Operating System 8 offers a familiar layout for owners of current BMWs, while the metallic control console certainly looks slick. While we’re on the subject of glass, the whole cabin is enclosed by massive glass panels, offering a truly expansive view out.

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As for the rest of the cabin, it looks like an expensive lounge chock-full of cloth furniture, richly-textured carpet, and plenty of metal accents. THE ICON would make for a great Monaco gin palace, especially with the mirrored tables. Plus, it gets a thumping Dolby Atmos sound system, complete with propulsion noises by Hans Zimmer.

Hydrofoil go nyoom

It’s also worth noting that THE ICON is truly gorgeous, a prismatic masterpiece with an excellent mixture of swooping and straight lines, blunt surfaces, and thoughtful materials. While the low-poly design trend hasn’t done BMW’s car range many favors, it really works in this more architectural context.

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Best of all, BMW says that THE ICON isn’t just a concept. Sure, this one currently serves as a functional showpiece for the Cannes Film Festival, but this is a production-ready watercraft. I bet BMW would have an easy time selling this sort of vehicle. Between brand prestige, hydrofoil tech, and the novelty of electric propulsion, this is a yacht with a difference. I wonder if we’ll see it in the new BMW film?

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(Photo credits: BMW)

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Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 year ago

That’s one very nice GREENHOUSE. I can’t imagine how hot it would get on sunny day on the lake.

Scottingham
Scottingham
1 year ago

I know that when I think of boats, carpets and plush cloth seats are definitely at the top of my list.

/s

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago

This is the kind of beat Mercedes would normally cover. She hasn’t been around for a few days. I hope she’s OK.

F.Y. Jones
F.Y. Jones
1 year ago

I noticed that. Her last article was about attending the overland expo and doing some actual overlanding this week. I’m assuming she’s attending to that and will have lots of great stories when she returns

Things and stuff
Things and stuff
1 year ago
Reply to  F.Y. Jones

I think she’s currently in Hawaii for the Taco release and Highlander press drive.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

Looks about as seaworthy as every other BMW I’ve seen.

Eric Busch
Eric Busch
1 year ago

Hydrodynamic, yes.

Aerodynamic, no.

But if you can afford something like this, have fun puttering around a mile or so from the marina.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
1 year ago

On todays episode of BMW would literally do anything other than designing good looking cars….. I can’t imagine how much of a nightmare charging it will be and 50 miles is kind of laughable.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

It has no head or galley, do you really want to spend more than 50 miles at a time on it away from a marina?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

What a gorgeous colossal potential failure. I didnt see price but i am guess this is a quarter million dollar pontoon boat. Hey 3 I3 batteries are what $120,000? No beds, no cabin just an enclosed gorgeous covered sitting space but no tanning area. And sure when moving it raises the water line but you stop to let the kids swim? Well doggies you are just one fat kid doing a cannonball of flooding the below the water line battery chambers and finding out does sea water on a battery cause fire or an explosion? Either way everyone in the water but on the plus side once it sinks you have enough water to put it out FAILURE!

Last edited 1 year ago by Mr Sarcastic
ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Higher.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago

What’s the warranty on those batteries? – Asking for David Tracy.

I get a laugh out of how something like this is crafted to take you to pretty places with pretty views, yet it still needs a large screen TV. I guess it’s to keep the yute onboard from getting fidgety…

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago

But did they extract them from the donor i3’s with a chainsaw? Everyone should know by now that’s the new industry standard process for removing EV batteries.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 year ago

Hey a BMW without turn signals

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago
Reply to  Sklooner

eliminate redundancy > increase range!

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago

Not so much yacht as world’s most expensive pontoon party boat.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

Exactly

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 year ago

And if they shift the batteries to one side, BMW can call it The Poseidon.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 year ago

A.) needs more M-stripes nautical flags B.) Finally, My BMW can leave me stranded on both land and sea!

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

a prismatic masterpiece with an excellent mixture of swooping and straight lines

In profile, it resembles a hacksaw.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

I’m expecting to see one of these tied up to a dock, with Mr Incredible & ElastiGirl slinking out the back while adjusting their outfits…

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
1 year ago

Erm, excuse me posh boat owning person, can you tell me where the bathroom is?

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Anywhere you like – just walk to the edge of the deck

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I am sorry i doubt that any of our betters would be caught pooping off the side of a boat. But oh the paparazzi would love it.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

George Brett would, he’s relatively well-off

D-dub
D-dub
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Except that there is no deck.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 year ago

Couple things to keep in mind; energy storage in batteries is HEAVY compared to gasoline, and boats don’t have brakes; the water itself is a giant brake at al times. Cut throttle and boat stops almost immediately; this is why any electric boat that wants to have even mediocre performance is going to have hydrofoils; get the hull out of the water like you can with a lightweight gas boat, and suddenly it gets a lot more efficient (see: planing hulls). Thing is tho, hydro foils are a pain in the ass for most people, as it requires seriously deep water, and can easily be damaged.

As for this ‘boat’, it’s fucking stupid. No seriously. Imagine being on the water (reflective) on a sunny day, in a glass box (greenhouse). There is a constant yearning to put automotive styled enclosures on boats (glastron scimitar) and people who have no boating experience are always like YAYYYYYy but anyone who’s been around boats is scratching their head and wonder if people enjoy being in a convection oven.

Even boats with glass side windows, like an 80s bayliner capri with it’s automotive greenhouse-profiled side windows, is hot as F on a summer day because it blocks all the wind, and that’s with no roof or sun shade to trap all that heat.

So that means this thing must have air conditioning, which…. if you’ve ever tried to build an off grid system or a bus/rv/van with electric powered AC, oh man are you in for a rude awakening on how much power that requires.

TDLR: Boats have existed long before cars. When there’s a ‘stunning new shape’ on a boat that looks different than most boats you’ve ever seen before, it’s for a reason, and the reason is that it’s most likely a stupid idea.

All for more boat content on here tho! No speed limits, bikinis, boats are more fun than cars for the most part.

Also… 30 knots. lmfao. An aluminum boat with a 30hp outboard would be faster than this turd. If you guys need a boat expert to pick apart boat concepts on this site lmk.

Last edited 1 year ago by ADDvanced
Austin Vail
Austin Vail
1 year ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

I kept waiting for them to mention solar panels on the roof. Six i3 battery packs can’t possibly be enough, and the roof has plenty of space… Why wouldn’t there be anything up there to charge them?

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 year ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

I have a big hatred/slight fear or boats with roofs that aren’t ferry sized. Add a glass enclosure and you are simply making a glass ocean coffin, so in 50 years divers and tourists can see your skeleton picked clean by all the fishes.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 year ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Would the boat need A/C though? Its floating in a giant sink of probably cold water. A heat exchanger would probably do the trick.

Jalop Gold
Jalop Gold
1 year ago

complete with propulsion noises by Hans Zimmer.

Is this for real???

DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
1 year ago

Oh my, my single firing neuron went directly to the gutter on what I would do on this pontoon.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 year ago

After paying out royalties, will it pay for itself?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

On the bright buy it zero down low payments as possible insurance will pay for the boat when it sinks

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