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Friday, June 26, 2015

'No hoax': Lexus creates a hoverboard

As reported by USA Today: Toyota's luxury brand Lexus said Wednesday it has created a hoverboard.

Yes, a hoverboard -- as in something that looks like a skateboard without wheels that can hover above the ground like the character Marty McFly rode in theBack to the Future movie trilogy.

"It works. It's not a hoax," says spokesman Moe Durand.

Lexus says it won't be sold. It's for demonstration purposes. It operates using magnetic levitation, with liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets that "combine to allow Lexus to create the impossible." It says it is working with the world's leading experts in super-conductive technology.

As cool as that sounds, there are some major limitations. Since it operates magnetically, it only can hover over a steel surface. And it also only works as long as the liquid nitrogen holds out.


The auto brand released pictures of the hoverboard floating above the ground, but no pictures of it in motion or with anyone standing on it. Durand says, however, it can support weight. Limitations aside, the hoverboard is sure to win fans -- maybe even sell a few cars.

"At Lexus, we constantly challenge ourselves and our partners to push the boundaries of what is possible," said Mark Templin, executive vice president for Lexus International, in a statement. "That determination, combined with our passion and expertise for design and innovation, is what led us to take on the Hoverboard project."

Lexus says the board is being tested in Barcelona, Spain. It's the perfect example of the amazing things that can be achieved when you combine technology, design and imagination."

For now, it's mostly about promotion. Lexus tried to give it the look of one of its cars with a design that mimics its bold hourglass-shaped grilles. It says it is made with a range of materials, including bamboo.