Usually we get press releases like these on April 1, though in this case there’s likely to be a strong connection with the 30th anniversary of the release of the iconic time-travel film “Back to the Future” on June 30. Our Spider sense cautions that this is probably a well-intentioned media hoax, but be that as it may Toyota’s luxury division has announced it’s developing a working prototype of a Lexus hoverboard like the one that lead character Marty McFly rides in the movie.
Only that sequence took place in the first sequel, “Back to the Future II” – released in 1989 – in which Marty and Doc Brown fire up the time travelling DeLorean’s flux capacitor and head smack into 2015. There the movie otherwise correctly projects the widespread use of such things as tablet computers, wall mounted televisions with myriad channels and baseball teams in Florida.
Regardless, the company’s executive vice president Mark Templin says with what we can only assume is a straight face, “At Lexus, we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible. 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.”
Okay fine, the release goes on to explain that the skateboard of the future leverages magnetic levitation via liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets to achieve movement without being bogged down by nasty old Mr. Friction. Testing will reportedly take place in Barcelona, Spain in the coming weeks and be presented as part of a Lexus promotional campaign. Perhaps Tony Hawk will be asked to take it for a spin. Here’s a video that demonstrates the concept, however briefly:
Okay we’re still not convinced – the venting steam looks more like special effects than reality. Oh, and the release goes on to specify that the hoverboard is designed with the Lexus corporate spindle-shaped grille slapped on there somewhere and uses a plethora of materials shared with conventional Lexus vehicles, including natural bamboo. Is that bamboo…or bamboozle?
Anyway, we desperately hope another of “Back to the Future’s” predictions of events taking place in 2015 eventually comes to fruition, namely the Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series.
This article was written by Jim Gorzelany from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.