In February 2022, DeLorean Motor Company announced plans to build a new version of the 1980’s stainless steel-skinned car made most famous by its role as the time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The new sports car will be an electric vehicle (EV). DMC (no relation to John DeLorean’s original company that went bankrupt in 1982), which has spent the past 25-plus years dedicated to offering parts, service, and restoration on the original gullwing-door coupes, will build the car in San Antonio, TX.
Here’s everything we know so far about the return of a pop culture icon.
The new DeLorean as an EV
The new DeLorean, teased in its initial marketing as the DeLorean EVolved (though that’s unlikely to be its official name), will be an all-electric sports car. DMC CEO Joost de Vries told Motor Authority the car will offer a massive 100kWh battery pack to power it to a range of at least 300 miles. For context, the full-size Tesla Model S sedan, in its latest incarnation, uses a battery pack that is roughly the same size (99kWh) and carries the 5500-pound sedan up to 405 miles on a single charge. The new DeLorean, as a two-seat sports car, is likely to be considerably smaller and lighter, and as such could offer a similar or perhaps even greater range than the new Model S depending on its aerodynamics and drivetrain efficiencies. de Vries did say, however, that the car wouldn’t get to 500 miles of range.
Structurally, the new DeLorean will mimic Tesla’s “skateboard” design, in which the electric motors sit between the wheels on each axle and the battery pack sits in the floor between the front and rear wheels, spanning the width of the car.
“You could assume that with most EV sports cars, all-wheel drive would be a must as would a flat-floor battery,” DMC Chief Marketing Officer Troy Beetz told Motor Authority. The custom chassis, meanwhile, will utilize a structural carbon fiber tub.
DMC isn’t giving performance numbers yet, but the company is promising that the DeLorean EV will “be a driver’s car, bringing back the joy of driving.”
Design and style
All we have for now is the teaser silhouette image above. But we do know that the new DeLorean EV won’t be the same iconic 1980’s Italdesign-penned body over a modern electric powertrain. Instead, the 21st-century DeLorean will have a totally new design that, yes, will utilize the same signature gullwing-style doors the original did. And Italdesign, headed by legendary automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, is designing this one, as he did the original.
A design will be unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Monterey Car Week on August 21, 2022. Whether or not it’s going to be close to what we see on the road remains to be seen, because as Motor Authority reports, “The CEO is pushing for the car [unveiled at Pebble Beach] to be a close-to-production-intent prototype. But marketing and Italdesign are pushing for a prototype with the biggest wow factor.” IGN will be there to show you whichever version DMC ultimately chooses to reveal.
Speaking of design, the electric DeLorean won’t share one other classic trait with its predecessor: it will not have a paintless, corrosion-resistant stainless steel body. Beetz cited efficiency and weight concerns as reasons for bypassing stainless steel, though the original managed to be a reasonable 2800 pounds by way of having thin stainless body panels on top of a lightweight fiberglass underbody. While battery mass is a significant hurdle for any EV, it’s not stopping EV industry leader Tesla from building a stainless steel-body Cybertruck. The idea of having to care for paint will be a new one for any classic DeLorean owners who purchase the new car. Speaking of which…
Price and release date
The new DeLorean EV won’t be cheap, which is a shame because it contrasts with the belief of John DeLorean himself, who wrote in his 1985 autobiography about wanting more young people to be able to afford sports cars, since that’s who he thought should be enjoying them. Anyway, DMC told Motor Authority to expect a price around the high-end Model S (the Plaid, which starts at $136k before options) and Lucid Air (only the Dream Edition is currently available, and it starts at $169k) on the low end, but below the cheapest McLaren (which is presently the 540C that starts at $185k) on the high end. That puts the new DeLorean in the $175,000 range. For context, the original 1981 DMC-12 was $25,000, which in 2022 dollars is about $80k.
As for its release date, de Vries told Motor Authority that it’s possible the first customer deliveries could happen by the end of next year, but DMC for sure aims to have pre-production models on the road sometime in 2023.
Where we’re going we don’t need roads
For more on DeLoreans new and old, don’t miss our written-by-a-longtime-DeLorean-owner review of the Netflix docu-drama Framing John DeLorean as well as a look at the new Back to the Future DeLorean LEGO set. IGN will have more on the DeLorean EV as its release gets closer.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s executive editor of previews and host of both IGN’s weekly Xbox show, Podcast Unlocked, as well as our monthly(-ish) interview show, IGN Unfiltered. He owned a 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 from 1999-2012. Ask him about it on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan.