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BMW has just unveiled a new 43-foot zero-emissions electric cruising yacht

BMW and boat manufacturer Tyde unveiled a zero-emissions luxury yacht at the 76th Cannes Film Festival. Billed as "the first battery-powered marine vessel of its kind", Icon spans 43 feet (13.1m) and can reach 30 knots without emissions.

Stamped by the folks at the German brand's Designworks studio, the boat features a flat hull with a lightweight origami-like superstructure. Contemporary LEDs run across the bow and stern to add to the futuristic aesthetic, while expansive glass panels will provide uninterrupted views.

The icon is equipped with hydrofoils that ensure smooth sailing in the water with minimum resistance and maximum performance and speed. In fact, BMW says that hydrofoils reduce the energy requirement by up to 80 percent compared to a conventional boat. Foiling technology - whereby the boat moves on wing structures below the water level, while the hull floats above the water surface - also provides a higher level of travel comfort and higher speeds.

The icon is also equipped with a powerful electric propulsion system that runs on high-voltage batteries supplied by BMW. A pair of 100 kW electric motors convert the 240 kWh of energy provided by six batteries from the BMW i3 for a range of more than 50 nautical miles and a cruising speed of 24 knots. Of course, the electric boat sails the seas quietly, smoothly and cleanly.

Like any good bimmer, the icon will be extremely comfortable. With a draft of almost 15 feet, this new boat has a large entertainment area aft and a very spacious lounge entrance. The living room is decorated with designer furniture and a kaleidoscopic rug that uses metallic foil to reflect sunlight like waves in the sea. The yacht also features 360-degree swivel seats and a tablet-based infotainment system. There's also a 32-inch, 6K touchscreen in the central command station that emulates the BMW iDrive operating system. Everything from mileage to weather can be ascertained via voice commands.

In addition, the Icon is equipped with a Dolby Atmos system. BMW enlisted two-time Oscar winner Hans Zimmer to develop all the operating tones and an accompanying soundscape. "The revolutionary acoustic creations created by the Hollywood composer are the soundtrack to a new era in the enjoyment of sustainable water travel," the automaker said in a statement.

The boat is not a design study or concept, but instead a fully production ready one. The boats to be produced based on THE ICON will accelerate the cause of zero-emission luxury transportation on the water and open a whole new -water-way. Their mission will be to inspire CO2-free water mobility - without polluting the environment, without noise, but with maximum comfort.


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