DeLorean's VP says the company is finally getting close to building new DMC-12s.
Years behind schedule, the modern DeLorean Motor Company is finally geared up to start manufacturing "new" examples of the classic DMC-12, using a mix of newly produced and new-old-stock (NOS) parts that have been on the shelves awhile. The company's Vice President, James Espey, confirmed the news to Hagerty, making it clear that the company is not accepting customer orders just yet.
At issue is the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, which defined regulations for a class of low-volume auto manufacturers distinct from the rules governing mass-market companies like Ford and General Motors. DeLorean had originally planned to start production just a year after the legislation's passing, but NHTSA dropped the ball on implementing the new law.
So, SEMA - the Specialty Equipment Market Association - sued NHTSA, prompting the federal agency to finally publish the Low Volume Act regulations. But the regulations still need to undergo a public comment period before being reviewed and ultimately signed-off on. All of that takes time, and according to Espey, "[t]here will be no cars produced under this legislation for at least a year, and that's presuming the feds do their job this time and don't drag it out for four more years."
But SEMA, according to Espey, has asked the court not to dismiss its suit until NHTSA completes the process, so there might finally be an end in sight.
Production of "new" DeLorean DMC-12s likely won't reach anything like the 325-cars-per-year pace specified by the Low Volume Act, instead rolling out at a rate of one or two cars per week, Espey says - about 50 to 100 cars per year. The wedge-shaped stainless bodies will adhere closely to the '81-'83 original, albeit with modern headlights, while the powertrain could make use of a 350-horsepower engine and transmission technology from this century. Inside, expect a more nicely trimmed interior than in the original, with modern audio and connectivity.
With any luck, we'll start seeing newly-built DeLorean DMC-12s around this time next year. Each is expected to cost in the neighborhood of about $100,000, putting it firmly in Porsche 911 territory. Which is cooler? That's a matter of personal taste, but we're putting our support behind the Back to the Future star.