The New Electric DeLorean: Back to the Future and Then Some

It'll be powered by electricity, but no word on whether there's a flux capacitor onboard.

Capital One

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DeLorean, the defunct carmaker vaulted into popular consciousness by the Back to the Future films of the 1980s, recently announced a rebirth of sorts. The revived company’s electric, four-seat sports car called the Alpha5 will make its public debut in August 2022 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, California.

Delorean Alpha5 white rear three-quarterDeLorean

An Electric DeLorean for the 21st Century

The Alpha5 will be a battery-powered successor to the DMC-12 that will do zero to (the storied) 88 mph in just 4.4 seconds (zero to 60 mph takes 3.0 seconds), according to DeLorean. It’s projected to reach a top speed of 155 mph thanks to its dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup. DeLorean aims to fit the electric coupe with at least a 100-kWh battery pack, yielding a range greater than 300 miles.

The Alpha5’s shape was drawn by Italdesign, taking cues from an earlier concept called the Medusa. The famed Italian design studio is known for the wedge profiles it created for well-regarded vehicles such as the BMW M1, Maserati Bora, Volkswagen Scirocco, and no surprise, the DMC-12.

Delorean Alpha5 white interior, seatsDeLorean

The new electric DeLorean will be built in Texas and will cost around $175,000. The company, however, has been cagey about when you might actually be able to purchase one, and whether those pricing targets and the car’s specifications will actually stick. According to the company’s website, “Bridging the physical universe with the metaverse will be our way forward. We will advise all newsletter-registered subscribers in late summer, 2022 on how to join this journey to ownership.”

If only we had a time machine.

Delorean Alpha5 white, rear, gullwing doors openDeLorean

Leveraging a Legend

The original DeLorean, a model called the DMC-12 that featured distinctive gullwing doors and exterior body panels of bare stainless steel, made quite a splash at its debut for the 1981 model year. But a troubled introduction, along with a tepid V6 engine that never matched the car’s rakish looks, quickly doomed the startup automaker, and its Northern Ireland factory shut down in 1982 with only about 9,000 of the cars produced.

Still, enthusiastic owners and collectors smitten with the car’s ahead-of-its-time styling have made the DMC-12 a regular sight at shows. It helped greatly that the company’s namesake founder, John Z. DeLorean, was a larger-than-life character. He was a top executive at General Motors and a leading promoter of the seminal American muscle car, the Pontiac GTO, that arrived in 1964. He later became entangled in a plot to distribute cocaine — an effort to rescue the DeLorean company — that ended with an acquittal at trial. John DeLorean died in 2005, at 80, following a stroke.

Delorean Alpha5, white, interior, dashboardDeLorean

A Comeback Long in the Making

For younger car enthusiasts, the DeLorean name mostly conjures up images of Marty McFly, hoverboards, lightning, and the wildly modified, time-traveling car that starred in the Back to the Future movie trilogy.

But that’s only a fraction of the DeLorean story. In 1995, a British mechanic and DMC-12 fan, Stephen Wynne, bought the naming rights for the dormant brand, as well as the remaining parts supply, and became a rebuilder for the cars. Wynne and his company are the force behind the launch of the DeLorean Alpha5. Experience in creating a new auto manufacturer comes from well-known industry figures like Joost DeVries, the company’s CEO and a veteran of Tesla and Fisker.

Will the new DeLorean Alpha5 make the same splash as the original DMC-12? Is this electric DeLorean for the 21st century poised for stardom? That all remains to be seen, but for now the Alpha5 is one of the most hotly anticipated debuts of 2022, and we can’t wait to see it in person on the links at Pebble Beach.

Delorean Alpha5, launch edition, pink, gullwing doors openDeLorean

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Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. There, she covers everything from automotive and business to travel and luxury. She has a passion for 1980s-era Volvo wagons, microcars, and dogs. She is also a World Car Juror.