Hoverboards and flying cars… we may have overshot the 2015 timeline portrayed in 1989 sci-fi film Back to the Future II, but if Lexus and upstart Terrafugia have their way, we could be eventually be riding both.
Headlining the update is a stylish new makeover, blessing the streamlined TF-X with all-new looks.
The 2013 concept’s catfish face has been replaced with a pointy new snout with long headlights above and a broad grille design along the lower edge.
There’s a more futuristic and premium look through the profile and, while the concept’s large take-off and landing rotor arms are again featured, there’s a cleaner look to the new design.
Power in the updated TF-X is provided by a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid system that claims 225kW of power, although much of the flying car’s forward flying thrust is provided by a 75kW engine provided by aviation company Rotax.
Terrafugia claims a 320km/h maximum speed, but, at 160km/h, the four-seat TF-X is expected to offer a flying range beyond 650 kilometres.
Overall range, including its duties as a road-going car, is claimed to be around 805 kilometres.
And, as a plug-in hybrid, the TF-X can use both a regular power supply and the on-board petrol engine to recharge its battery pack.
Terrafugia claims the TF-X’s flying operations will be guided entirely by computer – much as modern aircraft offer autopilot and future roadgoing cars will boast fully autonomous drive systems.
Don’t be surprised, though, if legislators require a full flying licence to operate the TF-X. That’s already the case with Terrafugia’s existing Transition flying car, which – unlike the TF-X – requires a 500 metre stretch of runway or road to take off.