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. As Lexus continues to tease its prototype hoverboard, American company Terrafugia has revealed details of its updated TF-X flying car ahead of a proposed 2021 sales launch.
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.