The Lexus Hoverboard Is Real, But Kind Of Lame

·Managing Editor

The Lexus Hoverboard Is Real, But Kind Of Lame

After months of buildup, Lexus delivered on its promise today by showing off a real, working hoverboard. Powered by liquid nitrogen and superconducting magnets, the board rises a couple inches from the ground and glides just as fans of “Back to the Future II” always hoped one could.

Well, sort of. 

As the video by The Verge demonstrates above, the promise of the Lexus hoverboard remains far better than the reality — from the 20-minute “charge time” before the nitrogen warms up to the need for a hidden track of magnets underneath the painted “skate park” to the fact that small shifts in balance or the weight of different riders reduce the floating height to zero and send the rider quickly back to earth. Notice that only one rider actually accomplishes much on the board; most (whom Lexus handpicked and flew to Barcelona) couldn’t make much headway.

What does this have to do with a luxury car? Well, one shows up to be jumped over while moving slowly; otherwise, all they have in common is that the dashboard of a Lexus also has smooth wood. Lexus didn’t design the hoverboard, won’t build production hoverboards and none of the tech in the board will ever see duty in a Lexus vehicle. It’s a pure piece of marketing, or as Lexus says, “a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology.” Sure Marty McFly had a hoverboard, but he also had a flying DeLorean. Now that would be cool.

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