DeLorean is back, and it’s gearing up to take on the world’s best-established premium brands with a comprehensive line-up of cars in different segments and an array of powertrain solutions.
The brand is being revived by an US-based outfit headed up by CEO Joost de Vries, previously a high-ranking official at Tesla and Karma.
He has taken the helm from Brit Stephen Wynne, who had run DeLorean as an aftermarket support service since 1995, when he acquired the brand rights following the high-profile demise of the original company.
Spearheading the rebirth is a striking, battery-electric coupé with rakish, sportscar-style proportions, far removed from the wedge-shape silhouette and compact footprint of the 1981 DeLorean DMC.
Called the Alpha5, it will make its debut at Pebble Beach in August before being put into production in 2024.
It will have performance to match “the Mercedes-AMG GT and maybe the higher-end Porsche Taycans”, de Vries told Autocar, “but it’s more catering to the internal-combustion crowd than trying to become a faster Tesla Model S Plaid.”
It will get from 0–60mph in around 3.4sec, top out at a limited 150mph and have a range of more than 300 miles on the US’s EPA cycle, he said.
De Vries was tight-lipped on the car’s underpinnings, going so far only as to say: “The car is being built in Italy – we’ve outsourced that – and we have some partners on the UK on the powertrain side.”
Initially, de Vries explained, the car will be sold in a limited run of 88 – referencing the speed needed to time-travel in the 1985 sci-fi film Back To The Future, in which the DMC famously starred.
Each will serve as an avatar for an associated NFT, meaning they won’t be road-registered and suitable only for track use. The rest of the production run, while still low-volume, will be built and marketed more conventionally and so will go through the necessary homologation processes for legal use on the road.
Although technical details remain thin on the ground, the design influence of the original car is clear.
The slim wraparound light bars at each end nod to the brand’s 1980s heritage, while the chunky louvres over the rear window, turbine-style wheels and gullwing doors are some of the defining features that have been taken from the DMC. In fact, the new car has been styled by Italdesign, the Italian design house run by Giorgietto Giugiaro, who penned the DMC.
“In Italy, they never really stopped designing DeLoreans, which was awesome,” de Vries revealed. Looking back at sketches in the firm’s archives, company bosses “found the saloon, discussions about the coupé, a city bus and an SUV,” he said. “You would never know the firm stopped building cars.”
Now, DeLorean aims to bring that hypothetical line-up into reality by branching out into other segments beyond the flagship coupé, targeting much higher production volumes for the more mainstream-friendly models on its roster.