Marty McFly may have ridden a hoverboard in 2015 in Back to the Future Part II, but that experience was all movie magic, a flight of fancy. Lexus, on the other hand, conjured the magic of technology and brought the iconic skateboard-without-wheels to life — for real.
“There is no such thing as impossible, it’s just a matter of figuring out how,” said Lexus Chief Engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi.
The Lexus Hoverboard uses magnetic levitation technology to essentially float above the ground. The skateboard-like platform houses two reservoirs, called cryostats, which are specially designed to hold the superconducting material in liquid nitrogen at -197 degrees C (that’s -322.6 to you Fahrenheit fans). When the Hoverboard is placed over strong magnets, it floats, even with the weight of a person riding or jumping on it. The by-product of the ridiculously cold temperature looks like smoke emanating from the device, making the whole exercise seem even more futuristic.
To demonstrate its Hoverboard, Lexus specially constructed a hoverpark in Barcelona, Spain, moving about 650 feet of magnetic track from its test facility in Germany to place underneath the site’s surface. The “SLIDE” video, featuring pro skateboarder Ross McGouran, shows the Lexus Hoverboard in action, performing traditional skateboard tricks as well as one eye-popping scene of it traveling across water.
“SLIDE,” which was directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Henry-Alex Rubin, is the fourth project from the “Amazing in Motion” campaign created by Lexus International designed to showcase innovation and creativity.
Lexus spent 18 months developing the Hoverboard in collaboration with magnetic levitation scientists at IFW Dresden and evico GmbH. To get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of its development, read our feature “Thrills & Spills: Behind the Scenes with the Lexus Hoverboard.”
Unfortunately, unlike Mattel’s toy hoverboard that celebrates Marty McFly’s ride, Lexus has said its Hoverboard will stay only in prototype form and not go into production.
For more details about Marty’s time machine in the Back to the Future series, check out the DeLorean DMC-12 on AutoWeb’s search and configure page.