The official reveal of the Lexus Hoverboard in action marks the culmination of 18 months of design and technology planning and weeks of testing at a specially constructed “hoverpark” near Barcelona.
The task of putting the machine through its paces fell to international pro-skateboard star Ross McGouran, who said: “I’ve spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I’ve had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance you need to ride the hoverboard.”
Lexus worked with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH who specialise in magnetic levitation technology. Following extensive testing with McGouran in Germany, the team were determined to push the hoverboard to its limits, conducting further tests in a dynamic environment.
The hoverpark was constructed using around 200 metres of magnetic track set beneath the surface of an area similar to a conventional skate park. This gave Lexus and McGouran the opportunity to demonstrate tricks that no skateboard could ever perform, including travelling across water. The results are captured in Slide, a film helmed by award-winning director Henry-Alex Rubin.
The Lexus Hoverboard features two cryostats, reservoirs which contain superconducting material, kept at -197°C through immersion in liquid nitrogen. The board is placed above a track fitted with permanent magnets to achieve magnetic levitation.
Dr Oliver de Haas, CEO of evico, said: “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and track – essentially keeping the board in a hover. The force is strong enough that the rider can stand and even jump on the board.”
Mark Templin, Executive Vice President Lexus International, said: “We set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible, collaborating with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion.
“As we combined our technology and expertise, we discovered that making a hoverboard isn’t an easy process. We’ve experienced highs and lows and have overcome a few challenges, but through mutual determination we have created a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology to create Amazing in Motion.”
The Lexus Hoverboard film Slide features the new hoverboard together with the new GS F saloon, the forthcoming addition to Lexus’s F-designated range of high-performance models.