ACCORDING to reports from the USA, it will soon be possible to buy a brand-new DeLorean, the futuristic brush-finished, stainless-steel bodied, rear-engine sports car made famous by the 1980s Back to the Future movies starring Michael J Fox. The original DeLorean project failed and its founder John DeLorean – incredibly, the man also largely responsible for the first Pontiac GTO and Ford Mustang in the 1960s - was busted by the FBI attempting to prop up his crumbling DeLorean Motor Company with drug money.
That original DeLorean was manufactured in Northern Ireland of all places, but the government there gave the company tax breaks – and was powered by a PRV (Peugeot/Renault/Volvo joint venture) 2.8-litre all-alloy V6.
No announcement of the new car’s driveline has been made and while a crate-spec GM alloy LS-series V8 looks to be a fan favourite, don't discount the possibility of a blown Toyota V6 as found in the Lotus Evora or a Ford 3.7 V6, developing between 350 and 400hp. Either would meet modern emission standards and give the new-century DeLorean far more poke than the woefully under-done original.
So what's brought about this sudden resurrection of the car more famous as a film prop? In short, the USA Low Volume Motor Manufacturers Act (H.R. 2675) a new law that means that low-volume manufacturers who make replicas of cars 25 years or older aren't held to the same standards as a modern car maker. The replica vehicles will be subject to equipment standards, recalls and remedies and must meet current Clean Air Act standards for the model year in which they are produced.
The new law allows the car maker to fit an engine and emissions equipment produced by another EPA-certified manufacturer.
DeLorean reckons it has enough stock to build 300 cars and has already sourced suppliers for HVAC, brakes, wheels and suspension parts. Expect pricing to be around US$100,000 and no, there aren't any plans for production with the wheel on the correct side.
Based on the 1980 Lancia Medusa concept, the DeLorean DMC-24 was slated for build in 1983. Italdesign built a fourdoor Kamm-tailed prototype before it all went down the gurgler for John Z and his hare-brained Irish escapade.