Lexus Builds Functional Hoverboard Prototype
Watch out, world. Toyota is heading back to the future.
The automaker has hinted it’s looking into flying cars. Now, its Lexus luxury brand has actually built a working model of a hoverboard. That’s right, an actual working hoverboard. It’s real, but not for sale. Yet.
The board uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets, according to a Lexus statement.
"At Lexus, we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible," said 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."
The technology is already zooming around Toyota's home country. A Japanese railway company last year set a new world speed record using a magnetic-levitation train. Toyota tipped its hand a year ago that it’s been experimenting with this for cars.
“It’s very confidential information but we have been studying the flying car in our most advanced r&d area,” Hiroyoshi Yoshiki, a managing officer in Toyota’s Technical Administration Group, said in June 2014 at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in Sausalito, California. “Flying car means the car is just a little bit away from the road, so it doesn’t have any friction or resistance from the road.”
It’s been 30 years since the first "Back to the Future" movie was released, and Marty McFly only hopped on a hoverboard to evade his pursuers in the second installment released in 1989. Lexus plans to start testing the prototype in Barcelona this summer, and is looking forward to a special date coming up that ties in with the films.
Lexus said it'll disclose more information further down the road — specifically on October 21, 2015, the day Doc Brown, Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer went back to the future. But really, roads? Where they’re going, they won’t need roads.
This article originally appeared on Automotive News.