07/06/2022

John Z. DeLorean was once a god in the American automobile world. As Pontiac’s boss, he had the idea to cram a big, amazing V-8 engine into the humble LeMans chassis, and the GTO was born. He also helped launch Firebird. In 1973, he left General Motors to found the DeLorean Motor Company, which took nearly a decade to launch its first car.

DeLorean was a pioneer in many ways. The two-seater sports car features gull doors similar to the legendary Mercedes 300 SL coupe of the 1950s. It also has a stainless steel shell that has left the factory unpainted. One can’t help but wonder if that gave Elon Musk and his gang ideas when it came time to design the Cybertruck.

The DeLorean was supposed to have similar performance to the Corvette, but several engine deals fell through and went into production with Renault’s whistling four-cylinder engine that didn’t have enough power for the somewhat heavy chassis. Performance was poor, delivery was mediocre, cockpits were cramped and sales stagnated. The company went bankrupt. DeLorean would have been just another footnote in automobile history had it not been for the movie Back to the futureWhich made him a pop culture icon.

This was the situation until 1995, when Stephen Wynn of the UK bought the rights to the defunct company and set up a company to supply parts to DeLorean owners. Wynne recently sold the rights to the DeLorean brand to Joost de Vries, who previously worked at Tesla and Karma. Wynne plans to release an updated version of the original car to celebrate his 40th birthday, but DeVries is planning a whole new line of DeLorean-branded cars.

The DeLorean Alpha5

Image courtesy of DeLorean

The first of these new cars is scheduled to appear at Pebble Beach later this year. Known as Alpha5, it is a modern reinterpretation of the original, with seagull-wing doors. However, this time around, it’s powered by a battery rather than a four-cylinder motor or a flow capacitor. DeVries promises to perform similar to that of the Porsche Taycan. Without giving any details, he said the car will have a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. It also says it will have an EPA range of at least 300 miles

Davies says car car That the Alpha5 will match the performance of “a Mercedes-AMG GT and possibly a high-end Porsche Tycans, but is aimed at the nitro audience rather than trying to get faster than the Tesla Model S Plaid.” When asked about the details, he declined, simply saying: “The car will be built in Italy – we’ve outsourced it – and we have some UK powertrain partners.”

The first 88 cars – 88 is the speed a car had to reach in the movie to start the time-travel function – will be for private road and circuit use only. After that, it is expected that the production of cars for general sale will begin at the end of 2024.

Designed by Italdesign

Image courtesy of DeLorean

The original DeLorean was designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro and his team at Italdesign. The new Alpha5 was also designed by the same company. “In Italy, they never stop designing DeLoreans, which is great,” says de Vries. When he and his team searched schematic diagrams in the company’s archives, they found “the sedan, the coupe, the city bus, and the SUV. You’ll never know.” [DeLorean] Stop building cars.”

Now, DeLorean aims to turn this hypothetical lineup into a reality by moving into other market segments targeting more mainstream models selling in larger volumes. The first will be a V8-powered sports coupe (part of John DeLorean’s original vision), followed by a battery-powered sedan and finally a hydrogen-powered SUV. “We need an SUV for more volume,” says de Vries. “The business case is an SUV that will hit the market pretty quickly after we launch our Halo, but we need this Halo first.”

The SUV’s size will be tuned to rival full-size luxury SUVs like the BMW X7 and Cadillac Escalade, while maintaining elegant ties to the Halo. The SUV will get its power from a hydrogen engine because DeLorean “is not convinced that batteries are the ultimate goal.” It remains to be seen if it will be a fuel cell electrical system or an internal combustion engine. car car He says, but de Vries insists there is “no one way for Rome” when it comes to phasing out fossil fuels. [We don’t fully understand how building a V-8 powered coupe helps with that phase out.]

After the first round closes, the next round of DeLorean’s funding will be linked to an initial public offering, possibly in August. De Vries explained: “We are going to be a public company. We have to. Building cars is not cheap and it takes a lot of money to make it happen.”

Dilor

Image courtesy of DeLorean

The auto industry is tough

Joost DeVries talks good game and is serious about reinventing DeLorean as a company that makes completely modern cars, but automotive history is full of good companies that fail. Getting started with electric cars is a dime a dozen. Faraday Future has been trying to get started in earnest for a decade. Canoo said it may not have enough funds to start production. Major auto companies are scrambling to prepare for the inevitable transition to electric vehicles. DeVries may have the best of intentions, but that may not be enough.

The DeLorean brand could still be affected by an accident years ago when John Z. was trying to set up a factory in Northern Ireland. The government gave him a very generous support package in the hope that the plant would alleviate the region’s chronic unemployment. But when it came time to locate the plant, John Z. chose the location himself.

In order to build where DeLorean wanted it, the hawthorn had to be uprooted. According to Irish legend, these trees are home to “little people”, elves and orcs who are an integral part of Irish folklore. Some may laugh up their sleeves at such nonsense, but on demand Ireland is callingIn 1999, work on the Limerick main road to Galway was halted due to a hawthorn tree in the road. The road had to be diverted and construction was delayed 10 years!

Joost DeVries will need something very powerful mojo To stave off the lingering consequences of John Z.’s decision. The reckless DeLorean disrupted the ancestral home of the fairies in Northern Ireland over 40 years ago. Will the new company succeed where the original failed? We’ll see,” said Syed Zen, who knows a lot about things visible and invisible.



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