The Alpha5, however, made its public debut in recent months, looks a lot like some DeLoreans you may not be familiar with because none of them were ever made.
It’s not difficult to buy the DeLorean name and put it on a vehicle. “official DeLorean.”But the DeLorean DMC-12, an icon of modern design, was not only an icon. It should not only have the DeLorean designation, but it should also look like a DeLorean.
What should a DeLorean look after 40 years? It should look at least somewhat like the DMC-12 from the movies. But the car company went bankrupt before the film was even released. The company’s designs didn’t change over the decades like other car brands. Ironically, “Back to the Future”car was firmly stuck in its past. The company’s new designers had nearly 40 years to fill the gap.
They wanted to imagine how DeLoreans might have looked if all had not stopped. They have filled in some large gaps in the timeline to do this, starting with the future that the original automaker had in mind.
It turns out that the DMC-12 wasn’t the Alpha5’s true progenitor. The Alpha5’s roots are actually in DeLorean’s second car, the four-seat DMC-24. This car was not invented by the new designers.
Although the original DeLorean Motor Company was out of business in 1982 the DMC-24 was still being developed. ItalDesign Giugiaro was an Italian design company that created the DMC-12’s angular, bare metal form. It even made a concept car version of the DMC-12 before DeLorean went out of business. In 1982, the DMC-24 was finally unveiled in slightly modified form as the Lamborghini Marco Polo concept vehicle.
There are also all the other cars ItalDesign developed for DeLorean over 40 years. The Alpha2, which was revealed in 1996, the Alpha3 in 2006, and the Alpha4, which is a hydrogen-powered SUV, were all unveiled in 2013.
Okay, maybe not. ItalDesign, a subsidiary Volkswagen Group, was again chosen by the DeLorean to design their new cars. They decided to create a fictional design history together.
Although none of those vehicles — Alpha2 to 4 — have ever been built, DeLorean executives or ItalDesign’s engineers speak of them as though they did. These cars can be reproduced in quarter scale. These magazines will also include period cars. “just revealed”Models on the cover. Mattell graphic designers designed the Hot Wheels packaging in the right style for each period. It looks just like the toys were hanging on drugstore shelves back in the day. (Hot Wheels actually sells a DeLorean Alpha5 model.
The new DeLorean Motor Company isn’t trying trick people. ItalDesign and its partners at ItalDesign don’t want to. These vehicles have never existed, as anyone who has lived for the past 40 years will tell you. The company would have been stuck if it had just gone back to 1982 and designed a modern vehicle. “retro”CEO Joost de Vries stated that this look could only be applied one model. Designers created a history to free themselves from the constraints of actual history.
Designers were able to identify the key elements of DeLorean’s vehicles by creating them. “design language,”For example, a subtle frontwing. It was modeled after the DMC-12’s strip of darker material, but made into an aerodynamic feature. The Alpha4, an SUV will be DeLorean’s next planned model, after the Alpha5, which is an electric SUV.
A darker reality and the birth of a new DeLorean
Although this faux history looks promising, DeLorean’s real history was much darker. It serves as a warning to all new automotive start-ups, even the new DeLorean. It shows how quickly things can go wrong and how quickly they can get out of control. DeLorean was forced into liquidation just after John DeLorean (ex-executive at General Motors) was arrested for drug charges in a videotaped operation. The company, which had been in serious financial trouble, was eventually acquitted.
Stephen Wynne, an unnamed Texas mechanic, bought DeLorean’s assets. Wynne’s company earned a reputation for maintaining and fixing DeLoreans. Initial plans were to have the new DeLorean firm make electric versions the original DMC-12. But, over time, a bolder plan emerged.
Wynne’s first company was the largest investor. The new DeLorean Motor Company was created to produce all new electric vehicles. The company’s founder, De Vries, was previously associated with Tesla and Karma Automotive (another EV startup), and a new headquarters building in San Antonio is planned.
“The coupe is our halo car,” said de Vries. “It’s awesome. It’s the purest interpretation we have of the brand, but we need to get to the SUV if we’re going to become a car company.”
This was a major reason for a made up history. DeLorean needed a heritage of design to draw on in order for those more sophisticated themes to be incorporated into vehicles that may not have been possible in 1982. De Vries anticipates revealing a new DeLorean full sized luxury SUV in 2023.
“We’re actually launching our second generation SUV,” de Vries said, “because we did have an SUV in 2013.”
It’s not true, designers will work from the Alpha IV to create the company’s future production SUV. The big SUV will be more radical than the Alpha5, de Vries promises.
“We can’t afford to have a brick,”He said.
DeLorean unveiled two concept vehicles during the house in Monterey (California), where the company was showing off the first planned production model. The Alpha5 Plasmatail is a version of the Alpha5 that has a higher back end and more storage. The Omega is an extreme offroad EV with large tires and a thin body high above the ground.
DeLorean’s designers are filling in the gaps and looking forward. The present is still in development.