The DeLorean DMC-12: Here’s what a 2018 model would look like

The DMC-12 is a much-loved 1980s icon thanks to a certain film trilogy, this is what we think it could have become had the company survived...........

3y ago

The DeLorean DMC-12 is quite possibly the most instantly recognisable car ever built.

Thanks mostly to its starring role in the Back To The Future trilogy, and the scandal surrounding the demise of the company that created it, the DMC-12 has earned its place in the car fans' hall of fame.

The History of the DMC-12

Everyone knows what car this is.....

Everyone knows what car this is.....

Around 9,000 DMC-12 (estimates vary) models were built at the Dunmurry production plant near Belfast from 1981. The futuristic design by Giorgetto Giugiaro featured those famous gull-wing doors with unpainted stainless-steel body panels and a rear-mounted engine.

Power came from a slightly wheezy Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (PRV) 2.85-litre V6 engine producing 130 horsepower. All of this power went to the tarmac via a five-speed manual gearbox or a three-speed automatic (so retro). This gave the DMC-12 a 0-60mph time of 8.8 seconds for the manual, with the auto box taking a pedestrian 10.5 seconds.

Making normal doors look, well, normal since 1981.....

Making normal doors look, well, normal since 1981.....

Then in 1982, with the DMC-12 suffering slow sales and significant cost overruns using up the carmaker's cash flow reserves, the company filed for bankruptcy. Company founder John DeLorean tried to save the business by lobbying the UK Government for financial assistance.

This was one of many attempts to resolve the carmaker's money problems which would ultimately end with DeLorean being arrested on drug charges and the companies’ sad demise.

If DeLorean had survived, what would a 2018 model have looked like?

Working with DT design guru Spencer Kim, this is what we envisage the 2018 DeLorean would look like.

As you are likely aware, trying to build a DeLorean in 2018 while remaining faithful to the original is plagued by a number of challenges. The first being pedestrian safety, meaning those sharp Giugiaro lines would literally be consigned to the past giving rise to this new stunning flowing design.

Also, modern cars must meet strict occupant safety standards, things such as airbags, side impact protection and crumple zones must be engineered into a design as standard. The downside of this is that modern cars are much larger, in turn meaning they also weigh more.

During the design process, there were a few things that we insisted must be part of a modern DeLorean. For starters, those iconic gull-wing doors were included alongside the unpainted stainless steel body construction.

The bodywork features a number of black accent parts to mimic its older sibling. These include the front air dam, side sills, door inserts and rear air intakes. In 2018 though, these would be constructed from carbon fibre to reduce the weight of the car.

The rear-engine, rear wheel drive setup remains faithful to the original car. But this time around, we decided that the DeLorean deserved a bit more power with a readily available crate engine in the form of the Ford sourced turbocharged 2.3-litre motor found in the Focus RS. This unit is good for 345bhp, and when combined with a six-speed manual box getting up to 88mph should be a breeze.

While our re-imagining of what a 2018 DeLorean is merely a rendering, it’s difficult not to get a little bit nostalgic about what could have been had the carmaker survived its early troubles.

What are your thoughts on our re-imagining of a 2018 DeLorean? Let us know in the comments.

More of Spencer Kim's amazing design work can be found here.

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Comments (43)

  • Too much risk of a lightning strike. There are a lot of clock towers in my town.

      3 years ago
  • I'll only have one if the company is financed by drugs, the factory is built on the Palestinian/Israel border and at somewhere along the line, the owners have got to take a government for a shit load of money. Without those three things in place , it can never be a real Delorean.

      3 years ago
  • LOVE this. And totally want one

      3 years ago
  • i'd buy it. looks great

      3 years ago
  • WHERE WE'RE GOING WE DONT NEED ROADS!!!! i want one so bad now...

      3 years ago