DeLorean Will Restart Production In 2017
Back in 2008, a small company known as DeLorean Motor Company began refurbishing DeLorean’s after it finally acquired all of the remaining parts and tooling from was left over from the original DMC. Keep in mind that the DeLorean Motor Company that I’m talking about here has absolutely no ties to the original company. These refurbished DeLoreans have been going for somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000. Everything is about to change for the new DMC, though.
The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 will allow small auto manufacturers to produce up to 325 replicas of vehicles that are at least 25 years old, which means the new DMC is about to start producing the DeLorean again. In an interview with Automobile, President of the new DMC, James Espey, said “The Low Volume Manufacturers bill has significantly changed our business model. We’re moving from just service and restoration to full low-volume manufacturing and assembly.”
DMC claims to have “thousands” of stainless steel panels and parts that will support the DMC manufactured fiberglass chassis. The company will stay true to the original DMC-12 made in 1982, but there will be some modern changes to the car. Production should start sometime in early 2017, assuming the DOT and NHTSA finalize the manufacturing rules on time. When the new DMC-12 rolls of the line in Humble, Texas, pricing is expected to be somewhere below $100,000.
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Why it matters
So, here’s the deal: one of the biggest changes that will come with this remake of the DMC-12 is an engine that is more powerful. The original had a 2.85-liter engine that put out a sad 130 horsepower. I’ve driven one of the originals, and I’m not sure how Marty McFly ever got the thing to 88 mph in a small parking lot. To put it simply, the car was so heavy that it was a turd. The new DMC is looking to a couple different engine suppliers, one of which hasn’t been named. The other is GM, which offers several "E-Rod" crate engine options that are already emissions certified. The small-block Chevys would be a good fit for the new DMC 12.
One of the reasons I think the original DMC-12 flopped is that we weren’t ready for it yet. Those doors posed quite a problem if you were in a mall parking lot. And, back in the early 80s, you didn’t go to Amazon to get whatever you wanted to impulse buy; you went to the mall. Sometimes I wonder just how many people were left waiting for the jerk who purposely parked too close to their DeLorean.
Aside from a goal of somewhere between 350 and 400 horsepower, the new DMC will equip the DMC-12 with bigger wheels, bigger brakes, and a more modernized interior. I doubt you’ll get a flux capacitor, but the cassette tape player will be replaced with at least a CD player, or maybe even a touch screen display. That might be a little much for a car like the DMC-12, but it’s also been more than 30 years since the original was leaving people stranded in tight parking spots.
All told, I think this is a pretty awesome idea, and I hope the DOT and NHSTA hurry up with finalizing all those pesky rules. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of these new DeLoreans rolling around. To be honest, I really hope I manage to drive one, especially now that it’s faster than a Toyota Prius. The funny part is, I have a feeling the new DMC-12 will end up being way more popular than the original.