The DeLorean is an iconic vehicle—stainless steel body, gull-wing doors—and arguably the most famous movie car of all time. It’s also a brand name that many people have tried to revive over the years, with varying degrees of success.
So you’d be remiss if you thought you were traveling back in time (yuk yuk) when you saw a headline claiming the DeLorean was about to be reborn as an electric vehicle and thought to yourself, “Haven’t I already read?”
To sum it up: the company that owns the trademark rights and supplies parts to the several thousand vintage DeLorean sports cars that still exist announced that it will unveil an electric concept car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August. It also revealed a teaser image showing the taillights.
The DeLorean Motor Companywhich is based in Texas, began unveiling early this year and launched a social media campaign in February with the tagline “The future was never promised,” which for a car usually associated with a time travel movie, seems like a huge sigh.
We’ve been down this road before. The company released a teaser video in 2016 promising a reborn DeLorean, but nothing came of it. In 2019, a group of Stanford scientists made an autonomous DeLorean do donuts, which was nice, but also reminded us of what we missed. This latest version can also disappear in a cloud of smoke (or vapor) if we’re not too careful.
This revamped version of the original DMC-12 (which is the real name of the vehicle most people just call “The DeLorean”) becomes a concept car, which is a polite way of saying “vaporware.” There is no indication that the current DeLorean company has the money or production capacity to produce electric versions of John Z. DeLorean’s classic coupes.
The company took a win last year when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the go-ahead for a small production of vintage replica cars, meaning there’s a higher chance we’ll get brand new replica DMC-12s before the electrified DeLorean hits the road. goes.
That said, the DeLorean Motor Company seems willing to milk this sucker for all it’s worth. Not only is the company planning to park its undoubtedly bomb-like electric car on the lawn of Pebble Beach, but it’s also planning three days of “activations and events” to generate hype in the run-up to its unveiling. . The official unveiling will take place on August 18.
But before you start dusting off your puffy ’80s vests and Nike high-tops, it’s worth noting that DeLorean says it has partnered with Italdesign, a prestigious design store owned by Volkswagen.
Not only that, but the DeLorean company is headed by Joost de Vries, a former director of Karma, the Chinese automaker, which has produced gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles based on IP purchased from the bankrupt Fisker Automotive.
What happens when you combine the parent company of Audi and Lamborghini, which is working on its own line-up of EVs based on the flexible CBG architecture, with a company that owns the trademark rights to an iconic (if problematic) vehicle? Maybe we should just speed up to 145 mph so we can peak in the future and figure it out.