Back in October of 2016, we reported that the DeLorean Motor Company was preparing to build brand-new versions of its famed stainless-steel, gullwing-equipped car. Not only that, but preorders were already open for any Back to the Future fans who wanted to cruise around town like Marty McFly and Doc Brown. But it’s 2020 now, so where are the time machines cars?
Obviously, they haven’t been built yet. But DeLorean wants you to forget what they said three years ago, because now they’re actually ramping up for production (for real this time). James Espey, the current vice president of DMC (a separate company from the original DMC, currently based in Texas), confirmed these plans “for limited production of a new, much-upgraded version” of the car, according to Hagerty.
If this sounds like a case of I’ll believe it when I see it, you’re absolutely right. But the delay is actually not DMC’s fault. As Hagerty writes, it all has to do with delays not at DeLorean (which currently exists as a support system for the original models) but with something called the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015.
Basically, the legislation, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2015, would allow companies to produce limited-run replica vehicles without being bound by certain safety and emissions standards. But after that administration ended, the law stalled because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration didn’t follow through with implementation.
“One problem, Espey explains, was that NHTSA hasn’t had a permanent administrator since the previous presidential election, and the acting administrator would not sign off on the regulations,” writes Hagerty. Thankfully, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) took matters into their own hands and filed a lawsuit, and now it looks like the law could take effect soon.
That means DMC is once again gearing up to sell new turnkey DeLoreans, and this time around they’ll have modern conveniences like power steering and cruise control (imagine that!) and potentially features like heated seats and smartphone integration (the future!).
While they’re not available to order just yet, interested buyers can fill out a non-binding pre-order form. Just don’t expect to hit 88 miles per hour in 2020; as Espey said, “There will be no cars produced under this legislation for at least a year, and that’s presuming the feds do their job this time and don’t drag it out for four more years.”
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