EXCLUSIVE: V-8 DeLorean on the way, based on C8 Corvette

Instagram | angelguerradesign

You almost certainly know about the original DeLorean, the time-machine car from Back to the Future. You may also know that there are multiple car companies with “DeLorean” in their names. You probably do not know whether to believe the rumors that one of those companies plans to build a new DeLorean car based on the current-generation Corvette.

Believe them, the CEO of DeLorean Next Generation Motors (DNG) told Hagerty.

“I needed to find a way to build an affordable car for the DeLorean community,” says Kathryn DeLorean. “They’ll be heartbroken forever if I don’t give them something.”

angel guerra delorean corvette c8 midengine bodykit
Instagram | angelguerradesign

Her solution: Buy a Corvette and have DeLorean Next Gen Motors replace the Chevy fiberglass with a body of DNG’s own design, complete with gullwing doors. The changes will be more than skin deep, too: DNG is working with aftermarket performance builders to bring this car to market.

Hang on, you may be thinking. What about the other DeLorean company, the one that’s making the Alpha5? That outfit is based in Texas, not New Jersey, and headed not by a member of John Z.’s family but by Joost de Vries, an executive who spent six years at Karma Automotive. Further complicating matters is that de Vries’ company is not to be confused with Classic DMC, founded by Stephen Wynne. A Liverpool mechanic who claimed rights to the DeLorean name in 1995, Wynne obtained the original company’s parts inventory and factory drawings. With them, he built a successful business servicing and reproducing parts for the original 9000 or so DMC-12s. (Wynne holds a minority ownership stake in what now bills itself DeLorean Motor Company, the makers of the Alpha5 who were until recently known as DeLorean Reimagined.)

If you smell a legal battle in the future, that nose is working.

DeLorean Alpha5 hero
The Alpha5 DeLorean

Company origins aside, the products proposed by each DeLorean-named firm are easy to tell apart. Designed by ItalDesign and unveiled at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Alpha5 shown above is only available as an EV. Specs are few: a targeted range of 300+ miles, a battery pack with a capacity of more than 100 kWh, a drag coefficient of 0.23, 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds, and a top speed of 155. Cambridge Audio will supply the stereo. Kelley Blue Book says that the company is targeting a starting price around $125,000. Like all the numbers above, that, too, is an estimate.

Rather than take on the Alpha5 with a direct competitor, DNG has chosen a two-pronged approach, aiming significantly below and above Alpha5. At the top of DNG’s proposed hierarchy sits the Model JZD, a hand-built model of which only 42 will be made. (If you have to ask why, you haven’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.) It will, naturally, be priced far above $125K. The Corvette-based model, which so far does not have its own name, will be the more accessible model in Kat’s portfolio.

A base Corvette, as she pointed out, is a car that many normal people can aspire to own. From that statement, we expect that the planned bodykit is intended for the base C8, which costs a hair below $70K and packs a naturally aspirated LT2 V-8 making 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. (Corvette faithful will note we were assiduous in our pursuit of affordability and did not even spec the Z51 package for this theoretical exercise.)

Thanks to the traditional Corvette targa top, which required Chevrolet to route the rollcage away from the tops of the front-hinged doors, Kat says that a gullwing conversion is doable. Whether the DeLorean body kit would also fit on the wider-bodied Z06 or on the hybrid, AWD E-Ray, we don’t know. For now, all we have are renders, penned by Ángel Guerra, an automotive designer and modeler who spent six years with Croatian EV firm Rimac and stuck with the company after its merger with Bugatti in 2021.

Choosing a Corvette as the foundation of an affordable DeLorean is only fitting, Kat says. Though most know John Z. as the head of his own company, he established his career at General Motors, a firm with which he spent 17 years. From ’69 to ’72, he was head of Chevrolet and, according to his daughter, was pushing hard for the Corvette to move to a midengine platform, something the model’s godfather, Zora Arkus-Duntov, also supported. After John left Chevy in 1973 to found DMC, he even tried to purchase the engineering for the mid-engine Aerovette—but Chevrolet, understandably, denied him.

A DeLorean-bodied Corvette, Kat says, “allows me to finish my dad’s story. I’m building him his dream car.”

One thing is for sure: The story of the DeLorean car in the 21st century is only getting started.

model jzd delorean with corvette bodykit
Model JZD, left. Corvette-based car, right. Instagram | angelguerradesign




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    That is the Corvette Base. Based on the multiple Firebirds based on the Gen 5 & Gen 6 Camaros, my bet based on the price tag of those being well over $40-50K over the price of the Camaro, I can guess a Corvette based deLorean will be around $150K or so at least. Especially considering they are only making 42, which ultimately 42 is the answer to everything.

    “I’m building him his dream car.” John’s dream car is a car built by someone else and then reskinned? I find that hard to believe. He wanted the DeLorean to be unique from the ground up. He didn’t want to simply rebadge someone else’s creation.

    Personally I don’t think any of these “new” DeLoreans will ever make it to production. Rumors of “new” DeLoreans have been around since shortly after the company closed its doors in N. Ireland, and here we are, many decades later, and still nothing.

    With all respect, the original DeLorean was undergirded by Lotus architecture that closely mimicked the Esprit and the engine was a Peugeot/Renault/Volvo collaboration. Switchgear and auxiliary systems were all bought in. John DeLorean’s genius was most visible in making variants of standard GM platform cars that were more beautiful, more interestingly specified, and thus more desirable than their brothers and sisters.

    I never said John didn’t use other companies products. That’s common amongst small companies. And having owned both an Esprit and a DeLorean, I can assure you that the frames are very different. Lotus designed the DeLorean frame, they didn’t just repurpose a frame they already had.
    At any rate, the DeLorean was unique. It wasn’t someone else’s car with a few sheet metal changes and a new badge thrown on.

    So it’s a Corvette with a body kit that looks sort of Lamborghini-ish.. That does not make it a DeLorean. DeLorean is dead anything else using that name is not a DeLorean.

    Mr. Chevrolet is also dead. The founder of Ford is dead. Ferdinand Porsche is dead. None of the cars which carry their names resemble the originals in any way.

    Ransom Olds is on line 1.

    An early innovator forced out and kicked to the curb, stuck looking at his name being used for decades. This is a tragic story as old as time itself.

    I like the designs, but one wonders if a purchase of one of these cars would put someone in the same boat as purchasers of the original DMC-1. After a small number are sold, the business can no longer be viable and owners are left with unicorns and difficulty obtaining parts years down the road. At least with the ‘vette based option, the mechanicals will be accessible.

    It’s just the body that they are talking about. Doesn’t matter if it is aluminum, steel or compaosite (like the Vette), body panels can easily be reproduced.

    Like it a lot better than the Vette. I’d like a Vette reskinned as a Lambo Countach, now that would be awesome.

    I don’t think any of these will ever make it to market. Buy a Corvette ($$$$), strip off the body and put another body on it. Then you are talking $$$$$$. Doesn’t make sense and will never happen. Attorneys are the only people that will make any money out of this deal.

    Yesss, and I love that car, much more than the Bette’s of that era. The XLR version is my dream “car”. I have a 79 Bronco, which is my dream “truck”. Lol

    Which, if any, of these cars are real DeLorans?
    Okay, you may own the rights to a name, but which car is the one that John would put his (tarnished) name on?

    Despite the family connection, probably not the red skinned Corvette. He could have done that in 1980 but was on the outs with GM and knew the C3 was a relic.

    Remember his “ethical escorts car” mantra. So, today he’d go electric, high tech and safety.
    So, of these contenders and pretenders, probably the Alpha5 comes closest to being a modern DeLorean
    Of course the price will be for rich folk only…then again the DMC-12 was overpriced too..(wasn’t the original price supposed to be $20k.

    What’s the point of buying a one-off? Just buy a complete Vette, if you’re so inclined to have a sports car when you face your mid-life crisis; that way repair parts will always be available…and trust me you’ll need many repair parts during ownership.

    It’s just a body swap. Body panels are easily reproduced regardless of what material they are. It’s not like a whole new suspension or engine or tranny. 🤦‍♂️

    Not so. Steel body panels require stamping presses and precision dies. That’s cheap if you make many tens of thousands of units, but prohibitively expensive for small runs. And especially if you stick to DeLorean’s original vision of making at least the exterior out of stainless steel.

    For the money of an “affordable” DeLorean or Corvette C8, I could get licensed to fly a personal aircraft and buy a 4-seat single-engine plane. Best part is I could do over 100 all day and not risk speeding tickets! The only problem would be parking…

    No you can’t. While the PPSEL certificate training will probably cost you “only” around $12,000, a new basic Cessna 172 will set you back $360 grand. Twenty years ago, “parking” cost me $85/month, insurance cost me $1,200/year, and the annual inspection on my Maule ran about $1,200, with me doing the grunt work. I’m sure all of that is higher now.

    Yeah, you can do over 100 mph. For about 4 hours; then you need gas, which is currently costing $5.85/gallon at Central Jersey Regional. A Cessna 172 will burn nearly 9 gallons an hour.

    Yes, the cheapest new GA plane is priced more like a base exotic car.
    However, if you are willing to buy used, then GA planes are all over the place at very reasonable prices.

    As you noted though, upkeep and operation is expensive. Like owning a boat, you pay extra for everything because…because! Also like owning a boat, you can do your own work and save buckets of money!!

    No, you can’t. Only the most basic stuff (like oil changes and cleaning spark plugs) can legally be done by the owner. Nearly all maintenance requires an Airframe and Powerplant certificate, and inspections must be performed by an A&P with and Inspection Authorized certificate (IA). Any permanently installed options must be certified for that particular aircraft (a “supplementary type certificate”).

    I also think you have an odd idea of what “very reasonable prices” means.

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