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Sailing Into The Future: BMW Shocks The Cannes Film Festival With The Electric Hydrofoil Boat

For the last couple of years, the buzz surrounding electric cars has grown exponentially, and for good reason. Aside from having low operating costs, EVs also offer quieter driving experiences, as well as massive torque, instant acceleration, and high efficiency.

In an era fueled by eco-conscious folks who have a thirst for innovation, these plug-in vehicles have risen to the forefront as a popular choice for sustainable transport. They are what sustainability is all about. And with so many brands adopting the inevitable electric future, electric cars continue to race ahead, leaving behind a trail of reduced emissions.

While electric cars have become a familiar sight on our roads, electric boats have quietly awaited their moment to emerge. And now they’re here and ready to navigate the waves of the future. Like a shooting star in broad daylight, no one expected to see the electric BMW hydrofoil boat so soon. This masterpiece seems to have bloomed before its time.

Lo and behold! Behold. BMW recently unveiled the Electric Hydrofoil Boat. Unveiled at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, the electric boat, dubbed “The Icon” is a remarkable collaboration between Bimmer and boat maker TYDE. Because the tranquil realm of electric boats is eerily calm, skeptics may brush it off as a mere concept. However, BMW says its electric hydrofoil boast is a “production-ready vehicle” that’s suitable for private and commercial purposes. So, Get ready to embark on a breathtaking voyage.

Here is everything you should know about the electric hydrofoil boat

BMW’s Electric Hydrofoil Boat: Exterior Appearance


At first glance, the Electric Hydrofoil Boat looks quite huge. In fact, we think it looks like a luxurious Martian Bubble Dome or Star pod on water. The electric hydrofoil boat is about 13.15 meters (or about 43.14 feet) long, which places it just under the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440, which spans 13.39 meters (or 43.92 feet) in length. Combined with its 14.7 feet width, occupants get plenty of room – enough for a small party.

Embarking on a remarkable fusion of extraordinary design and comfort, the icon emerges as the epitome of both style and sustainability. The boat reshapes the very essence of boat-water dynamics. According to the brand, the electric hydrofoil harnesses an innovation inspired by the world of yacht racing.


With the integration of hydrofoil technology, this boat is a huge step forward: It diminishes the watercraft’s environmental impact while elevating its performance. Utilizing the power of the hydrofoils, the icon reduces the energy requirement of the watercraft by an astounding 80 percent. And it does this while gracefully levitating its hull above the water’s surface — a striking departure from the conventional boats where hulls remain submerged.

And that’s not the only way this watercraft deviates from traditional boating forms. The Icon’s body is made up of a flat hull and a central support component for the transparent architecture.

Embracing a prism-like glass structure, the icon unveils a large rear section, where opulence and comfort converge to become an idyllic lounge area. Drawing inspiration from the art of origami, the icon’s hull captures the essence of delicate angularity. It folds upon itself like an intricate paper masterpiece. The hull’s lightweight structure effortlessly glides atop the ocean’s surface. Perhaps what makes the hull more outstanding are the tastefully integrated LED strip lights. These lights cast a mesmerizing glow that accentuates the vessel’s presence.

BMW’s Electric Hydrofoil Boat: Interior Design, Comfort, And Luxury


The Icon has a wonderfully designed interior that not only looks comfy but also offers an excellent view of the world around you, thanks to its well-designed and elegantly integrated glass panels.

Immersing passengers in a world of seamless connectivity and captivating control, this watercraft bears BMW’s unmistakable ingenuity mark. At the heart of its command center is a commanding 32-inch touchscreen. The screen carries the advanced iDrive 8 technology – the same system you will find on BMW’s newest and most luxurious fleet, such as the 3 Series (G20 facelift), the iX1, i4, iX, XM, and the 7 Series (G70).


And, like the controls available in those cars, this watercraft’s intuitive interface beckons exploration. You can command iDrive 8 with your voice, allowing you to navigate the waterways with ease. The system comes fitted with an onboard Dolby Atmos sound system, ensuring that you get the best listening experience. Speaking of which, The Icon has a unique soundtrack that was composed by none other than the legendary Hans Zimmer.

There’s so much more beyond its control center. Reminiscent of the ambient lighting within BMW’s famed vehicles are the mesmerizing LED lights. Illuminating the bow, stern, and charging ports, these lights almost form a symphony of radiance. When it comes to seating, the Icon takes on a persona of its own. The seats have the ability to rotate a full 360 degrees, forming a captivating living room sanctuary.

BMW’s Electric Hydrofoil Boat: Power And Battery Capabilities


Powering the hydrofoil boat are a pair of 100 kW electric motors. These powerful motors convert 240 kW of energy supplied by the six batteries. The brand said the icon’s batteries come from the BMW i3. The battery’s capacity allows the icon to achieve a range of just over 100km (approximately 62 miles) on a full charge. That’s an impressive range.

BMW says The Icon has a top speed of 55km/h, which is about 34.5 mph. To put that into perspective, it’s about the same speed as a typical motorscooter or a standard electric bicycle (e-bike).

BMW’s Electric Hydrofoil Boat: Final Thoughts


As we mentioned earlier, The Icon is a production-ready example, so expect to see these soon. While we’re unsure how many of these will hit production, it’s definitely an innovation that’s worth looking forward to. Other brands will likely join the segment in the near future.

There are so many positives here. The most important aspect is that The Icon will encourage CO2-free water-bound mobility. Also, it’s comfortable, safe, and tech-filled. Moreover, the vessel is underpinned by a platform concept, allowing full customization according to buyers’ wishes.

Pioneering a path devoid of both noise and emissions, The Icon, a collaborative creation of BMW and Tyde, signifies a bold leap into the future of marine transportation. Prepare to indulge yourself in a haven of comfort and elegance, where every journey unfolds as an enchanting experience.

Wilfred Nkhwazi
Wilfred Nkhwazi
🚗 About Wilfred Nkhwazi - Founder of Flagship Drive 🌍 Meet Wilfred Nkhwazi, an automotive writer, and explorer of the open road. 📚 With more than five years of experience in the world of automotive writing, he's the visionary behind Flagship Drive. As a seasoned writer, he brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Flagship Drive, providing readers with the latest news, reviews, and trends in the automotive world. Wilfred has a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the technology and engineering behind cars, making him the go-to expert for all things automotive. When he isn't behind the wheel, you can find him exploring the latest automotive innovations or attending industry events. He is also the curator of, where he dissects the finest details of automobiles.


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