Urban Transport

Lexus has developed a hoverboard ... seriously

Lexus has developed a hoverboa...
Lexus will feature its overboard as part of the "Amazing in Motion" campaign
Lexus will feature its overboard as part of the "Amazing in Motion" campaign
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Lexus teases its all-new overboard
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Lexus teases its all-new overboard
Lexus will feature its overboard as part of the "Amazing in Motion" campaign
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Lexus will feature its overboard as part of the "Amazing in Motion" campaign
Lexus design uses permanent magnets liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and a metallic surface below
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Lexus design uses permanent magnets liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and a metallic surface below
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For years, designers and startups have been attempting to mimic fiction and create a hoverboard like the one famously piloted by Marty McFly in Back to the Future II. Those efforts have only accelerated now that it's 2015, the year in the "future" that the famous hoverboard scene was set. We never expected a luxury automaker to throw its hat into the hoverboard ring, but today (that's June 24, not April 1), that's exactly what Lexus did.

The hoverboard arena has traditionally been dominated by disappointing hardware, unlikely designs and outright hoaxes, but a design from the world's largest automaker brings a bit of hope. It also brings a lot of questions. Is Lexus for real? Is it just a clever ad campaign to create buzz? Will the first convincing hoverboard really come from a major global automaker, as opposed to a determined inventor or purpose-formed start-up?

Lexus' announcement is frustratingly lacking in detail, and the company has been nearly as stingy with details when speaking to the media. It does explain that it's been working with leading super conductive technology experts in developing a board that uses a combination of liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets to levitate just above the ground below. Lexus fancies the board one of the most advanced hoverboards to date, and given that it has the muscle of one of the world's largest, most profitable companies behind it, the claim doesn't seem so farfetched.

Lexus teases its all-new overboard
Lexus teases its all-new overboard

That doesn't mean that you'll be carving air outside of your Lexus dealership anytime soon. Gizmodo confirmed that, like the Hendo hoverboard, the Lexus effort relies on a metallic surface below, so it can't just propel you over the types of ground that actually exist out in the world. What looks like concrete in the teaser video is actually a specially prepared metallic surface.

The other bad news is that you won't be able to buy the Lexus hoverboard – like, ever. The automaker is clear that the board is a prototype that will not be offered for sale. It prepared it as part of its "Amazing in Motion" ad campaign.

"At Lexus, we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible,” explains Mark Templin, executive vice president, Lexus International. “That determination, combined with our passion and expertise for design and innovation, is what led us to take on the Hoverboard project. It’s the perfect example of the amazing things that can be achieved when you combine technology, design and imagination."

Lexus design uses permanent magnets liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and a metallic surface below
Lexus design uses permanent magnets liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and a metallic surface below

In place of the 80s neon deck work made famous in Back to the Future II, the Lexus board features more understated styling that shows hints of Lexus' automotive design language. It is shaped like the spindle grille that's become a cornerstone of Lexus styling and features a deck crafted from the bamboo that's used in Lexus interiors. It's not overheating in the photos – that's fog from the liquid nitrogen, making the design look that much cooler and more sinister.

Lexus plans to test the board in Barcelona in the coming weeks, and it has vowed to release updates about the project for the hoverboard-hungry world to devour. You can follow it on Twitter using the hashtags #LexusHover and #AmazinginMotion.

Enjoy a first look in the video below.

Source: Lexus

Lexus has created a real, rideable hoverboard

View gallery - 3 images
17 comments
KevinGreenwood
Yeah right! even if it is true video using magnets under the road surface in this specific area for example, with opposing ones on the board itself - it obviously can't withstand any weight put on it as can be seen in the last few moments of the video! fail !!
FollowTheFacts
...a board like that cannot be made... : ) ...why would anybody think that it could...!
wanderkip
Nothing is impossible to the inquisitive mind. If UFOs are all terrestrially-based, then mass-hallucinations are possible. If not domestic, then there are hovering and propulsion fields that we have not yet discovered.
ei3io
There is a technology that is being developed, not for hover-boards but for transportation. It shows potential to actually work using electrically charged reaction air mass with vectored thrust. Stay tuned.
Bob Flint
Lexus has jumped the shark..
Milton
@ GeoffG
Yeah man... Everyone wants hover-boards so bad that no one seems to have actually thought about what they are wanting.
A board that simply hovers would be a disaster to ride.
sk8dad
Nice try with the skate park in the background implying the hoverboard is more than just a useless museum display piece. I'm not fooled.
Mark in MI
The hoverboard is just a first step. Lexus wants to be the first to make Luke Skywalker's land speeder.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Thought it was a hoax but a bit better version of something that has been around for awhile. A long way from a skateboard!