As fans of the feature film “Back to the Future” might recall, it took a bolt of lightning to send the hero hurtling through the space-time continuum. A small start-up company’s ambitions don’t include time travel but it does hope to put an electric power pack under the hood of the iconic, stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 that appeared in that film and two sequels.
A prototype of the gull-winged sports car – which will largely lift the design of the original DMC – was just unveiled by the DeLorean Motor Company of Texas, which hopes to put the battery version into production by 2013.
Company president Stephen Wynne bought the rights to the DeLorean name and other assets in 1995. The company had gone bust in 1982 following the bust – and subsequent acquittal – of its eponymous founder, John Z. DeLorean, on charges of trying to sell a suitcase full of cocaine to undercover agents.
An estimated 9,000 of the original, gas-powered sports cars were built between January 1981 and the end of the following year – and Wynne has been selling spare parts for them – as well as restored DMC-12s.
But now, says the DMC Texas website, the company is “reconstituting the fruit of John Z. DeLoreans’ troubled loins,” and has developed a high-tech version of the troubled DMC-12 with which it hopes it can compete with the likes of California-based battery carmaker Tesla Motors.
In an ironic twist, the new DMC has turned to Flux Power, an Escondido, California maker of lithium-ion batteries. (In the “Back to the Future” trilogy the time-warping DeLorean used a device called a flux capacitor to move freely from past to present.)