Lexus Hoverboard Homage to Back to the Future 2
lexus | technology | August 5, 2015
One of the most memorable scenes in Back to the Future 2 occurs when Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly flies along on a floating hoverboard trying to escape from some bad guys in hot pursuit. In the film, that scene actually takes place in the future in the year 2015, and to mark that milestone Lexus has produced something pretty similar to the amazing wheel-less board from the movie.
Lots of people have been in a tizzy since Lexus released a teaser in June about their “Hoverboard.” Now the luxury carmaker has finished the actual board and released videos depicting its creation and showing a pro skateboarder putting it through its paces.
How does it work? Lexus’s invention, which they refer to as something like a flying carpet, is light on magic and heavy on hard science. Basically, two pods containing a superconductor are inserted into a bamboo board and are cooled to -197°F using liquid nitrogen. The extreme cold gives the superconductors in the hoverboard enough power to float above a track made of magnets while supporting the weight of an adult.
To test the board, Lexus created a Hoverboard park in Barcelona, and the footage of professional skateboarder Ross McGouran is insanely smooth and elegant, especially at the point when he jumps over a sexy Lexus sedan. But here’s the rub – or, lack of rub, given the fact that this whole process is pegged to eliminating friction. The Hoverpark is huge, but McGouran can only skate on the time portion of it that contains a magnetic track just underneath the surface. It’s gorgeous to watch, but it’s a bit of a letdown when you realize you can’t ride Lexus’ hoverboard anywhere you want to.