Thought the DeLorean DMC-12 had disappeared into the past with the rest of the Back To The Future excitement and nostalgia? Think again. The DeLorean is making a comeback, and it’s all thanks to a new law passed in 2015.
The 2015 Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act exempts small volume car manufacturers from the regular safety requirements that restrict most car manufacturers. The law essentially allows cars to be manufactured without following certain modern safety regulations – but only if they are a replica of a model produced at least 25 years ago. Luckily for Back To The Future fans the Delorean passes the test.
DMC Texas VP, James Espey, said the popularity of the DeLorean is “constantly refreshing” with the majority of the model’s popularity being because of Back to the Future. “At any given moment, that movie is probably being played somewhere, and someone who has never heard of a Mustang or a Firebird or a Camaro falls in love with the DeLorean”.
The DeLorean Motor Company, a Texas-based car maker, is not actually the original owner and manufacturer of the model made famous by Doc Brown and Marty McFly. Founder John Delorean’s original company closed down when he was caught for drug trafficking in the 1980s.
Complex history aside, what this means for The DeLorean Motor Company is that the millions of factory parts sitting that previously did not meet regulations are now undergoing a transformation into the first of the new DeLorean 2017 models.
According to reports from the manufacturer, up to 325 brand new DeLoreans could be built each year. The 2017 model will be based almost entirely on original 1980s blueprints. The main difference being that the third-party supplied engine that will meet emissions requirements and boost the power to 300 to 400 horse power above the 130 horsepower of the original models.
The new model are expected to be released some time in 2017, with costs predicted at around US $100,000. Rumours are circulating about an electric car versions as well.
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Solar Power Australia’s DMC EV
For now, the prototype Electric DeLorean sits with NSW Solar Panel Company Solar Power Australia. Back in the 2012, their conversion of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 from fuel guzzling V6 to a high performance Electric Vehicle put Solar Power Australia on the international radar.
“We are pleased to say that the conversion was a success with the electric drive providing much better performance than the V6 petrol engine. “Our DMCEV Electric DeLorean is charged from outlets in solar powered buildings or our mobile solar trailer. As such, this electric vehicle is EMISSION FREE!”
1981 DeLorean DMC-12
2.8L PRV V6
95kW (130hp) 207Nm Torque
EVO Electric AFM140 Axial Flux Motor
167kW (224hp) 612Nm Torque
Rinehart Motion Systems PM100DXR Motor Controller
450Amp AC Liquid Cooled Inverter
A123 Systems Lithium Ion Nanophosphate Modules
370V(nom) 405V (peak) 22kWh
3.5kW CAN Controlled On-Board Charger
Typically 4 to 5 hours
Full charge from flat in under 7 hours
130km with Regenerative Braking in use
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Nyquist