BMW is taking its electrification ethos from the car world to the yachting game.
The German marque has joined forces with German start-up Tyde to develop a high-end zero-emissions yacht. Christened the Icon, the newcomer was reportedly developed under “strict secrecy” and will be fully unveiled at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival.
The team has only shared a few details and images ahead of the vessel’s official debut next month, but it gives us some idea of what seafarers can expect. Penned by the folks at BMW’s Designworks studio, the Icon will have a future-focused design and an emission-free propulsion system. It will take cues from the electric vehicles in the BMW i range and utilize the marque’s existing green technologies.
The Icon will be purposefully geared toward the upper crust, as the team believes the luxury sector is key to the decarbonization of the marine industry. “The luxury market is an important point of reference for other yachting segments,” Tyde cofounder Christoph Ballin said in a statement. “In addition, complex and elaborate solutions can be applied here first, before electric mobility becomes mainstream with large volumes in the coming years.”
It’s worth noting that this is not the first time BMW has dipped a toe in the marine industry. The nameplate established a marine division in 1919 after World War I to build engines for boats. BMW Marine was eventually sold to Mercury in 1987, but the automaker didn’t shut the door on boating completely. It launched a lifestyle brand called Yachtsport in the 2000s and became a sponsor of the America’s Cup. More recently, Designworks partnered with Sea Ray for a 26-foot sport boat. The SLX 260, which was launched last year, showcased sexy, sportscar styling with a flowing S-shaped sheer line. Perhaps the Icon will feature a similar sleek silhouette?
The yacht is sure to be finished to the highest standards, too, as the Tyde team is well-versed in designing and building battery-powered vessels. Ballin previously founded Torqeedo and electric mobility on the water, while cofounder Tobias Hoffritz has worked with BMW on a number of technology and innovation projects.
The Icon’s world premiere is scheduled for May 17. The yacht will be presented and demonstrated by BMW and Tyde at the Vieux Port throughout the duration of the festival until May 27.