It was made famous on the silver screen, but now the famously stainless steel sports car looks set to return – with a modern twist.
After more than five years of waiting the US Congress has passed new low volume vehicle manufacturing regulations backed by the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) that will allow it to begin manufacturing new versions of the 1980s icon. DMC has released a statement hailing the government’s new rules, which will allow small manufacturers to sell “replica cars that resemble vehicles produced at least 25 years ago.”
At the same time, DMC partner, Italdesign, has released a teaser image of what could be the modern version of the DMC-12, to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
DMC has been waiting since 2015 for this change, which would allow it to begin building a modern take on the car that starred in the Back to the Future film franchise. However, the company’s statement said the delay in getting the new regulations passed means they will have to reevaluate what will power the reborn steel coupe.
Back in 2015 the company had planned to have the resurrected model in production by 2017 powered by a new petrol engine that would have run for four years; or 2020. But with such a short lifespan for a new petrol engine the company admits it’s looking at alternative power.
“That said, with EV’s becoming more mainstream, we’ve been considering switching to an all-electric as the future,” the company’s statement said. “It certainly makes for an easier path through emissions maze which still looms large over any internal combustion engine.”
The challenge for DMC isn’t just what will power the new model but how it will build it. The company admits the delayed passage of the new regulations combined with the on-going COVID-19 crisis in the US has hurt its financial position.
The company’s statement read: “Most critically, financial markets have changed [since 2015], and will change even more as the world navigates the continuing COVID crisis during the Biden administration. Will the financial support that we had lined up a few years ago to carry us through the final development and into production still be available?
“As the automotive brand with likely the highest name recognition across all demographics in spite of not having a new product in 40 years, we still believe that none of the above is insurmountable and believe that others will see value in it, as well.
It seems the only way to know exactly what the future holds for DeLorean is to find a time machine…