Originally planned for 2016, legislation stopped it in its tracks
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DeLorean Motor Company has confirmed the production of the iconic DMC-12 is back on the cards.

Originally planned for a 2016 release, the reborn DMC-12 was halted after the presidential election, which impacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implementing the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act. This not only affected DMC, but many other companies wishing to produce low-volume models.

James Espey, vice president of DMC, spoke to Hagerty, where he explained it didn’t help since the last election, NHTSA has only had an acting administrator who has put their time into matters that affect today’s industry instead – namely autonomous cars and the worldwide recall of Takata airbags, so low-volume cars fell by the wayside.

Late last year, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) sued the U.S. Department of Transportation for not releasing the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act. With that regulation now passed, Epsey still has some nervous times ahead.

“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,” said Espey.

After a 30-day public comment period, the Office of Management and Budget reviews the 120-page document, which, according to Epsey could take six months. Other factors could hinder the project; if the NHTSA will finally get an administrator before the next election in November 2020, will they plan to continue with the act? Or what could happen after the election?

As a result, DMC has not opened the order books yet (there’s been no update on its website), but Epsey has revealed even though the Act allows 325 cars to be built a year, DMC will only be making one to two cars a week.

If all goes well, the new, upgraded DMC-12 will feature brand new, and new old stock (NOS) parts. With a warehouse full of 3.5 million parts and 96.7 per cent availability, it’s going to be a relatively easy task to bring the car back to the future.

To give it a modern twist, the iconic car could feature an upgraded interior with heated and cooled seats, navigation, Bluetooth and smartphone integration, along with modern headlights, ABS, traction control, power steering, and cruise control.

Almost 9000 examples of the original DMC-12 were built between 1981 and 1983, using a 2.9-litre V6 Peugeot-Renault-Volvo engine that produced a mediocre 96kW. Epsey assures a new powertrain will produce a much more powerful 260kW, but has not divulged what engine will be used. The company had one lined up in 2015, but that engine is finishing production in two years, so a new one needs to be found.

What about an electric motor?

“If the right technology partner knocked on our door, we’d be interested in speaking,” he says.

Do you think a recreated DeLorean would be successful? Let us know in the comments below.