Go back in time to 2016 and you'll see reports of a rebirth for the DeLorean DMC-12. Enabled by the newly passed Low Volume Manufacturers Act, which allowed companies to build up to 325 new versions of cars more than 25 years old, a former DeLorean parts and service company was set to build new versions of the old cars.
According to a Tuesday report from Hagerty, that all got stalled when a new president took office in 2017 and the lead administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration left in favor of a temporary replacement who wouldn't sign off the low-volume vehicle regulation.
Now, after SEMA sued the U.S. Department of Transportation in October, NHTSA has issued the regulations for the Low Volume Manufacturers Act. With that development comes the news that the DeLorean Motor Company, not to be confused with the DeLorean Motor Company that build the original cars, will build old Delorean DMC-12s anew.
According to Hagerty, the cars could be powered by 350-horsepower engines certified by the EPA and CARB, a far cry from the 130-hp weakling of the original, and they will get modern infotainment systems and headlights. The bodies will look like the 1981-1983 originals. ABS and traction control could be included, and better brakes are likely. The cars could also get amenities like navigation, heated and cooled seats, and Bluetooth connectivity.
DeLorean Motor Company president James Espey told the publication that production won't begin for at least a year and the company will likely build fewer than 325 cars, perhaps one or two per week.
Espey said the saga with the government isn't over yet. Next up is a 30-day public comment period after which the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will hav review the regulation and figure out how applicants will be able to complete it. Espey estimates that will take six months. He also noted that SEMA isn't dropping its lawsuit until the regulation is final.