To prove the Back To The Future II Hoverboard is an actual thing, Lexus has provided a short movie neatly called Slide, which you can watch (and be wowed by) below.
This shows pro skateboard rider Ross McGouran riding the Hoverboard around Lexus’ special ‘hoverpark’ near Barcelona, Spain.
Hovering a few inches above the ground, the Lexus Hoverboard levitates above the ground, can float around banked sections and – most remarkable of all – can even float across water.
How does the Lexus Hoverboard work?
There’s no trickery involved here: Lexus’ new Hoverboard really is A Thing. It works using magnetic levitation – there are two crysostats (devices designed to keep things ultra-cold and stable) inside, containing superconducting material that’s chilled to a super-cool -197 degrees C using liquid Nitrogen.
Hence the smoke (actually steam).
When placed above a surface containing permanent magnets, it will levitate. Enter Lexus’ special hoverpark in Spain, containing 200 metres of them built in.
Boffins from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH have worked with Lexus to create the Hoverboard.
Dr Oliver de Hass, CEO of evico, explained: “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and track – essentially keeping the board in a hover.
“The force is strong enough that the rider can stand and even jump on the board.”
What is the Lexus Hoverboard like to ride?
McGouran is described as an international pro-skakeboard star who says that, although he’s spent 20 years skating, “without friction it feels like I’ve had to learn a whole new skill.
This can be seen in the movie, where even he appears to have difficulty riding it. The trickiest parts, he says, are “particularly in the stance and balance you need to ride (it)”.
Other riders appear to have even less success. But then, that’s probably unsurprising. After all, before this, how many on the planet can claim to have ridden a Hoverboard?
Will Lexus sell the Hoverboard?
Sadly, Lexus has no current plans to put the Hoverboard into production. Barriers include vast expense and the need to have a special hoverpark with magnets built beneath the surface.
Intriguingly though, it does call the Hoverboard a prototype rather than a one-off. How fascinating to think the Hoverboard, with a lot more development effort, could be part of the brand’s future mobility strategy…
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