New DeLoreans could hit the streets as early as next year

Ever since Marty McFly drove one all the way back to 1955 so he could date his mom and invent rock 'n roll, the DeLorean DMC-12 has been a cultural icon. Unfortunately, since the original DeLorean Motor Company went into receivership in 1982 after building only around 9,000 cars, the cars are scarce on the ground. If the successor company, DeLorean Motor Company of Texas, has its way, brand-new DMC-12s could be built as early as 2017 if major component suppliers can be lined up.

In late 2015, Congress signed federal highway bill H.R. 22 into law, which contained provisions of the "Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act" (H.R. 2675) to create a regulatory structure that allows small companies to produce limited numbers of replica vehicles that resemble vehicles produced 25 years ago or more. Companies producing these replicas must still register with the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration and the EPA and file annual production reports, just like their bigger cousins. The replica vehicles themselves must still meet current Clean Air Act standards for their current model year. Since this is a tall order for, say, an early-1980s Renault engine, these boutique manufacturers can install modern engines and emissions gear to help their vehicles meet the stringent modern standards.

This is all very good news for the new DeLorean Motor Company, an outfit out of Texas which bought the entire remaining stock of DeLorean parts at auction way back in 1997. DMC announced that with the passage of H.R. 2675, they can line up suppliers in an attempt to begin production of new DeLorean DMC-12s. The new cars will be thoroughly updated, with modern electrics and drivetrain, and will retain the classic gull-wing doors and radical, early-80s styling.

As for the drivetrain, the company is remaining tight-lipped as it speaks to various potential suppliers. James Espey, VP of DMC, hinted to Jalopnik that, while a GM engine is certainly an option, there are currently one domestic and two foreign engine suppliers being considered. Without naming names, Espey stated that the current favorite is a naturally-aspirated V6 producing between 300-400 horsepower, which is a serious improvement over the original's anemic 132 hp Peugeot-Renault-Volvo mill in the DMC-12. The estimated price for these new DeLoreans is an eye-watering $100,000.

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