These classic brands are being brought back to life. And we're not talking about using a defibrillator.
We recently discussed how moving drivetrains to all-electric means a company no longer has to play the expensive and development-intensive game of emissions regulations.
As a result, we have a slew of new companies, which is healthy for the auto industry. More competition equals more innovation, better products, and more competitive pricing for consumers.
The even better news is that it also gives defunct brands a chance to return to the market.
The first thing to note is that this is not the original DeLorean Motor Company.
The original DMC went defunct on October 26, 1982. DeLorean Motors Reimagined was formed in 1995 and trades as DeLorean Motor Company. The company started due to demand for reproduction, refurbished, and new old stock parts for the DMC-12.
DeLorean Motors Reimagined bought all the remaining parts for the iconic DMC-12 and started building new cars and restoring old ones. After a lawsuit, the company purchased the DeLorean Motor Company name, trademarks, and logo.
There was talk of an electric Delores model as far back as 2011, but it's only now that it looks like a reality. Recently, DMC announced the Alpha5, which is it's a futuristic take on the DMC-12, complete with massive gullwing doors. DMC says it will hit 60 mph in 2.99 seconds. We want to know the zero to 88 mph time.
Henrik Fisker has a long history of celebrated car designs, including the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9, and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
In 2007, he formed Fisker Automotive to build his gorgeous Fisker Karma luxury hybrid sedan. He also brought a bunch of cool concepts out for display, but the company didn't fare well and declared bankruptcy in 2013. A Chinese company bought Fisker Automotive's assets, and the Karma car lives on under the new name, Karma Automotive.
However, Henrik Fisker held onto the Fisker name and logo. Henrik bounced back and founded Fisker Inc. in 2016 to design and develop electric vehicles. The Fisker Ocean is due sometime in 2022 as a luxury all-electric SUV and will be followed up by the smaller and more affordable Fisker PEAR.
It's a strange one, and how Volkswagen has ownership rights to the brand is a little convoluted. Volkswagen owns Traton, a conglomerate of the MAN, Scania, and Navistar brands. As our older readers may remember, Navistar was founded in 1986 as a successor to the International Harvester automaker that created the original Scout SUV.
Rumors started earlier in the year, and we confirmed that Volkswagen set up a separate company to design, engineer, and manufacture a pickup and rugged SUV.
"After Volkswagen's successful turnaround in the US, we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs," said outgoing Volkswagen CEO Herbert Deiss.
So, in short, the Scout is returning as an all-electric vehicle, and we couldn't be happier.
The Wiesmann car company was started in 1988 by the brothers Martin Wiesmann, an engineer, and Friedhelm Wiesmann, a businessman.
The German company hand-built custom convertibles and coupes based around BMW engines but got into financial trouble that resulted in filing for insolvency. At the last minute, a London-based investor, Roheen Berry, scooped up the company and installed himself as CEO.
The Weismann rebirth starts with the Wiesmann Project Thunderball, an all-electric convertible in the brand's tradition of hand-built craftsmanship and retro styling. It has a bespoke spaceframe chassis with two electric motors that produce 670 horsepower from an 83-kWh battery pack. It's not all-wheel-drive, though. Unusually for a two-motor electric vehicle, each unit powers a rear wheel.
The first reborn Hummer vehicle is already out in the wild, and it's a beast.
Hummer was brought back as a GMC sub-brand for the 2022 model year, with the production of the first GMC Hummer EV starting in 2021 after a $2.2 billion investment from GM.
The first model is a truck called the Hummer EV SUT, and it's every bit as obnoxious as it should be with the Hummer name on it. The Edition 1 has three motors making 1,000 hp and features a Watts To Freedom (WTF) mode that allows it to hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.0 seconds despite weighing just over 9,000 pounds.
Other models come with four-wheel steering, the fantastic Crab Mode, and steel underbody cladding for hardcore off-roading.