The New DeLorean DMC-12 Is Coming
The story of the DeLorean DMC-12 is one of the most fascinating in the automotive world; the brainchild of former GM executive John DeLorean – a rock star among suits – the gull-winged, stainless steel car started production in Northern Ireland in 1980 with extensive grants from the British government. It all came crashing down though when, after building around 9,000 cars over two years, the company went bankrupt after DeLorean was charged with buying cocaine to finance the company.
It seemed the end of the story. But it’s not.
The DeLorean Motor Company – that’s the Texas-based one that came into ownership of the leftover cars, parts and trademarks after the original company shut down – has announced it will begin building the DMC-12 once again. And it’s all because of a lawsuit filed by SEMA in the US against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to enforce the Low Volume Manufacturers Act. Though passed in 2015, the NHTSA failed to implement it.
The act makes it legal for small carmakers to produce fewer than 325 cars per year, and DeLorean – the new company, of course – already has plans for a new generation of the low-slung, Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed sports car.
But they won’t be exactly the same. While the stainless steel body and steel frame will remain, upgrades will improve the suspension, brakes and interior, along with a modern set of headlights. The engine will also be new, a modern motor to conform to emissions regulations that could get up to 350hp, a far cry from the 120hp of the original Peugeot–Renault V6. It could also get modern safety features such as traction control, technology that wasn’t even invented in 1980.
The company says it will probably build just two cars a week, with a final price of around $100,000 each. But as the NHTSA has yet to officially issue the proper regulations, don’t expect to put money down on a DeLorean for at least another year.
We think it will be worth the wait.
*Images courtesy of the DeLorean Motor Company