By Steve & Tamami Laser, with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
Lexus proclaims that it has “made the impossible, possible.” The wait is finally over. After teasing us for weeks, Lexus has finally revealed its new experimental “Hoverboard.” And as we can see in the video below, it appears to actually work – even on water!
The Lexus Hoverboard has taken flight, a feat captured in Slide, a new film recording the success of the latest project in Lexus’s Amazing in Motion campaign.
The Lexus Hoverboard is here. See the world’s first hoverpark in action, as Lexus demonstrates the desire to create enjoyment out of motion. (video: Lexus Europe)
Lexus says the official reveal of the its 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, Spain.
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.”
With his effortless style and huge bag of tricks, Ross has become one of the fastest and most engaging skaters around. He came up quickly through the sponsored ranks due to his ability to skate “anything.” Ross is part of the Element Europe team. He’s also a pro-rider for Vans Europe, traveling across the globe to Sri Lanka, China, New Zealand, Australia and Spain.
Lexus worked with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and Evico GmbH who specialize 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.
Evico GmbH is a subsidiary from the Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW), both based in Dresden, Germany. Evico develops superconducting magnetic bearings for industrial applications and transportation. IFW is a leading research institute in the field of material science that performs research from the fundamentals to applications.
The hoverpark was constructed using around 200 meters 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 hoverboard is constructed from an insulated core, containing HTSLs (high temperature superconducting blocks). These are housed in cryostats – reservoirs of liquid nitrogen that cool the superconductors to -197°C. The board is then placed above a track containing permanent magnets. When the board is cooled to its operating temperature the track’s magnetic flux lines are “pinned’ into place, maintaining the hover height of the board.
Dr Oliver de Hass, 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,” Templin explained. “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 sedan, the forthcoming addition to Lexus’s F-designated range of high-performance models in Europe.
Lexus says the hoverboard remains a prototype and will not be offered for sale.
News source, photos and video courtesy of Lexus Europe, Lexus International and Lexus Japan
Story (intro and commentary) ©2015 CarNichiWa.com