For the first time in more than three decades, the beloved stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 sports car is on the verge of a comeback. Thanks to a recently passed law, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, niche carmakers like DeLorean are now legally exempt from crash-test standards. This opens the door for a small, but brand-new annual fleet of replica DeLoreans for enthusiasts everywhere.
"It's fantastic. It is a game-changer for us. We've been wanting this to happen," DeLorean CEO Stephen Wynne told reporter Ryan Korsgard of Click2Houston. "That was a green light to go back into production. That was prohibited. It was against the law to do it."
Eager to get your own DMC-12? Here's everything we know about DeLorean's plans.
The first cars will arrive in 2017
The DeLorean Motor Company hopes to create one car per week starting in early 2017. (Photo: The DeLorean Motor Company/Facebook)
While the original DeLorean was produced in Northern Ireland, the new run of replicas will be built exclusively in the U.S. The DeLorean Motor Company, which purchased the defunct DeLorean trademark and its remaining parts in 1995, has been refurbishing and repairing older DMC-12s at its Humble, Texas location. According to Wynne, the company has enough parts to build about 300 new vehicles. If all goes according to plan, the first 2017 DeLorean DMC-12 will roll off the assembly line early next year.
More power, larger wheels
According to The Verge, the new replicas will feature engines from third-party suppliers that will offer a big upgrade from the 1982 original's 130 horsepower version. DeLorean is currently exploring engines offering 300-400 horsepower. The wheels will also get a big upgrade, with 17-18'' high performance tires offered for the first time. In addition, Jalopnik reports that the vehicle will feature larger brakes and larger shocks "from a famous German supplier."
And because this is the future, don't be surprise if DeLorean offers an electric model of the DMC-12 as well. Since 2011, the company has been exploring offering a DMCev all-electric version with a range of 100 miles and 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. Flux capacitor not included.
If you want to be one of the first to own a 2017 DeLorean DMC-12, it's going to hit your wallet hard. Current estimates put the replicas in the $80,000-$100,000 range –– with an all-electric option likely to cost even more. That's a big jump compared to the $45,000-$55,000 a refurbished model will set you back.
In the meantime, the company is urging patience as it figures out the next big steps.
"...DeLorean Motor Company has been working for some time to identify a supplier for engines and other parts that must be reproduced to allow production for 2017," they shared on Facebook. "A number of hurdles exist before production can begin, and we’re still early on in this process of determining the feasibility of moving forward."