The DeLorean is back to the future… sort of.
DeLorean Motor Company, a Texas-based shop which acquired the DeLorean trademarks and vast stocks of parts left over from the original factory and dealers, has just confirmed plans to prepare for limited production of a new version of the iconic coupe.
It was all supposed to happen in 2016, a year after the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act was signed into law, but the regulations were never implemented and DMC had to put the project on hold.
A lawsuit by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has now forced the U.S. government to issue those regulations, so there’s a green light for the new DeLorean.
But wait a minute. DMC Vice President James Espey says no cars will be produced under this legislation for at least a year, and it’s possible the presidential election in November will change a few things at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That’s why the company is not taking orders yet.
If all goes according to plan, however, Epsey says DMC will build one or two new DeLoreans per week. It already has 96.7 percent of what’s needed to make complete cars; the rest will be manufactured internally or sourced externally.
The stainless steel body and gullwing doors will conform closely to the original model built from 1981-1983. Expect modern headlights, wheels, brakes, electronics and safety technologies like traction control. Meanwhile, the revamped interior will include the latest connectivity gadgets, because Espey expects customers to use the cars as daily drivers, not just weekend toys.
What about the old Peugeot-Renault-Volvo V6 engine that produced a meager 130 horsepower? The idea at first was to replace it with another engine delivering around 350 horsepower, but that’s not going to work now and DMC will have to find a different solution elsewhere.
Espey, who is not closing the door on an electric powertrain, promises a lot more performance, greater reliability and compliance with emission regulations everywhere.