My heart stopped when I read the first line of a Lexus press release: “Lexus Creates Advanced Hoverboard”. Flashbacks instantly popped up to me cheering Marty McFly on as he raised hell and caused a major ruckus on his hoverboard in the fictional sleepy town of Hill Valley, California, circa 2015. I got my first skateboard in 1989, the same year I first saw Back to the Future 2, and I’ve never really grown out of my love for skating, nor my yearning for a real live hoverboard.
Now, 60 years after that memorable scene, Lexus have just released a teaser video of an actual, real, rideable hoverboard. Working with experts in super-conductive technology, Lexus have created one of the most advanced hoverboards the world has seen through the use of “magnetic levitation with liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets to give the Hoverboard frictionless movement of a kind that had been thought impossible”.
Even after seeing the teaser video, I still have a hard time believing this isn’t a hoax or a marketing stunt, but Nik Pearson, Press Relations Manager for Toyota and Lexus in the UK, said to Autoblog, “It is indeed real. We have worked with companies to make this happen, and there will be more demonstration of this later this summer. The technology mentioned in the release is accurate.”
Clearly, the hoverboard isn’t a replacement for a car but the Lexus hoverboard shares design cues with today’s Lexus cars, namely the signature spindle grille. Apparently, some the same high-tech and natural materials, such as bamboo, used in Lexus’s cars find their way into the hoverboard as well.
As a final note to editors in the press release, Lexus dashes our hopes for a Lexus hoverboard drive program anytime soon: “The Lexus Hoverboard is a prototype and will not be for sale. The project can be followed on Twitter using the official hashtags #LexusHover and #AmazinginMotion.”
Currently, there are a small handful of hoverboard prototypes out there, the most promising one seems to be the Hendo Hoverboard.