The DeLorean Is Back With An 88-Unit ‘Alpha V’ EV Concept

Not many cars have the emotional pull of a DeLorean, the Future-Is-So-Bright 1980s automotive icon that was cemented into the public zeitgeist like few other cars after a star turn as a rolling time machine in the mega-hit movie Back To The Future – and the sudden and swift demise of the company and the man who created it.

People who couldn’t tell a Corvette from a Civic can typically immediately spot a DeLorean – usually with a big smile and the astonishment car nuts would display if Elvis pulled up in a LaFerrari.

The short story: Workers in Northern Ireland produced just short of 9,000 of the V6-powered, stainless-steel shelled, rear-engined coupes in just under two years before DeLorean Motor Company, or DMC, collapsed under debt and alleged drug dealing by its desperate namesake, John DeLorean, who was found not guilty of the charges against him. But by then, DeLorean was done. Now, 40 years on, it appears to be back.

John DeLorean passed away in 2005 at age 80, but ten years before his death, the remains of the company were bought up by an Irishman who had grand designs on resurrecting the cars in their original form, but it was not to be. Now, the brand has moved to the U.S. under the supervision of Joost de Vries, formerly of Tesla and Fisker/Karma, and he’s got plans not to just revive the hallowed name and the signature car, but to expand and grow DeLorean into a contender in both the EV and gas-powered market segments.

First up will be the new DeLorean, known as the Alpha V (five), which will be a limited production, high-performance all-electric four-seat sports coupe, much like the original, save the electric part. The car was recently announced and renders revealed; DeLorean says a physical specimen will debut in August at Pebble Beach, with production slated for 2024. De Vries told Autocar that he hopes to take DeLorean public at about the same time the first car gets shown later this year.

As noted, only 88 initial EV units are planned; you likely know why that number is key if you saw the movie. Missed it? In Back To The Future, the flux capacitor-powered DeLorean has to hit 88 mph before it can launch into time-travel mode.

The new DeLorean EV is designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro, who also came up with the original DMC-12, as the 1980s car was officially known. Giugiaro is now the head of design firm Italdesign. The EVs will be built in Italy according to CEO de Vries, with some power train input from companies in the U.K. Oddly, the first 88 cars will be tied to NFTs in some form and will not be street legal, despite performance numbers that include a 150mph top speed, 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds and over 300 miles of range from a 100kWh battery pack. Cars built after the initial 88 units will be street legal; we’ll see if the track-only NFT strategy survives to the IPO.

If funding and construction plans reach fruition, the EV will be followed by several other DeLorean models including a V8-powered sports car and a hydrogen-powered SUV, among others. But for now, the upcoming DeLorean EV is looking to the future while paying homage to the past: gullwing doors, rear louvers, the iconic metallic finish? Check, check and check. Flux capacitor? No word on that, but it’s an easter egg they would be wise to integrate in some form, either physically or digitally. Just stay out of empty parking lots at night.

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