This Isn't the DeLorean Reinterpretation We'll Get, but It Is the One We'd Like

DeLorean All Roader rendering 13 photos
Photo: Jeremy Dodd via Behance
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I'm struggling to think of another car that's only been on the market for roughly two years and is even remotely as instantly recognizable as the DMC DeLorean. However, as you probably know very well, the model's fame has a lot less to do with automotive-related attributes than with its involvement in the movie industry via the "Back to the Future" trilogy.
Even though this last statement is correct, I still feel it doesn't do complete justice to the iconic DMC-12 (the internal designation of the two-seater that was ultimately embraced by the public as well). After all, how many gull-wing-doored, stainless steel, wedge-shaped cars has the industry provided over the one century and a quarter that's been about? Would that be "none"?

There is no question the exterior design of the ill-fated DeLorean was the main driver of its admittedly limited success. You get that just by looking at the car's appearance, but there's one more reason why it is an undisputable fact: everything else about the car was an absolute disaster.

The specs of the DMC DeLorean are underwhelming, to say the least. The car was powered by a 2.85-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine that's best described as "uninspiring." The young American company sourced the unit from the Franco-Swedish Renault, Peugeot, and Volvo consortium, and, despite the fact there were more powerful versions available, DeLorean had to settle for the entry-level option that only produced 130 hp and 153 lb-ft (207 Nm) of twisting power.

An old saying tells us that "a great amount of power does not necessarily a great sports car make" (I'm not sure why I went all Biblical in my formulation, it's not that old), and the DMC-12 was, indeed, reasonably light, but there's no escaping the fact its performance did not match its looks in the slightest.

DeLorean All Roader rendering
Photo: Jeremy Dodd via Behance
There's actually great news for anyone with a little bit of nostalgia for the early 80's model, but not enough to actually go and buy one of the remaining original cars. There's word of a company called DNG (DeLorean Next Generation Motors) led by the very daughter of John DeLorean, the man behind the iconic model, which plans to release a new, modern reinterpretation of the classic DMC-12. To make things even juicier, it'll basically be a Chevrolet Corvette C8 with an entirely new body, so we can at least be sure it'll have much better underpinnings this time.

Well, how well will DNG manage to marry the original DeLorean's aesthetics with the much different proportions of the C8 remains to be seen, but as long as it'll have gull-wing doors and a stainless-steel finish, my guess is everyone will be happy.

Gull-wing doors and stainless bodywork are two things Jeremy Dodd, the author of the gorgeous renderings you see on this page, also felt were non-negotiable for his take on a potential future DeLorean. However, even though it may seem like this virtual reinterpretation has more in common with the original than the prospect of a C8-based model as far as appearance is concerned, once you go beyond that, they couldn't be more apart.

I'm not saying the 6.2-liter V8 in the 'Vette is anything like the 2.85-liter V6 of the DMC-12, but at least it uses the same type of fuel, which is not an accusation you can lay at the feet of the electrical motors powering this digital prototype. Indeed, Jeremy decided to follow the trend and, to pretty much nobody's surprise, make his creation battery-powered. That's an idea that would have made a lot of people angry a few years ago but is probably received without even the bat of an eyelid now.

Batteries aren't great when you're trying to keep the height of the vehicle down, something the original DeLorean did very well, which makes the fact this is a completely fictional prototype very welcome because it means Jeremy was free of any practical, real-world constraints and was free to let his imagination wander.

DeLorean All Roader rendering
Photo: Jeremy Dodd via Behance
To be fair, it didn't wander too far away from the original as this is still unmistakably a DeLorean, but, as we already established when we talked about the original's design, that will never be a bad thing. The new car looks just modern enough, perhaps with only just a bit too much Cybertruck influence for my liking, though you could argue it was Tesla's electric pickup truck that first drew inspiration from the DMC DeLorean. A slightly larger difference between the hood and windshield angles would have gone a long way in setting the DeLorean All Roader, as Jeremy calls his project, from the Elon Musk's latest baby, but I guess the proportions alone can do a good enough job at that.

According to Jeremy, the concept is a four-wheel-drive adventure vehicle, but while though I can totally see the 4WD thing happening since it's an EV, so it would only need one motor for each of the two axles, the adventure part does raise some questions. The ground clearance, the size of the front apron and rear air diffuser, together with what looks to be a very limited (if any) travel distance for the suspension make any off-road incursion seem either unlikely, or potentially very costly.

That's not to say I couldn't see this design turned into what they call a "battlecar" - in fact, I'd almost pay good money for it. Give its suspension a significant lift, put some beefier tires on it, and you've got yourself a cool-looking vehicle ready to tackle the less hospitable parts of the world. Provided they have electrical outlets out there, that is.

If you're going to travel the world, you will need some storage space. Good thing there's an enormous frunk. In fact, it's so big it got me wondering: don't people inside have legs, and if they do, where do they put them? And since we're on the subject of space, what happens to all the real estate where the engine and transmission used to be? Surely there's some room left at the back that can be used for carrying stuff. Granted, there is a spare wheel, which will come in handy off the beaten track, but there should be space for more.

As I said, the DeLorean All Roader concept could not be more different from the DNG reboot of the brand we might actually get to drive at some point. And no matter how good the prospect of that vehicle sounds (in fact, it sounds a little too good considering they say it's going to be more affordable than a Corvette C8), I still find myself wishing it was the All Roader that came to life, and not the V8-powered sports car. Well, I guess fate could ultimately have the last laugh by making both projects just as real via what would be a very regrettable cancelation of DNG's plans. Hope I didn't jinx it.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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