The iconic DeLorean DMC-12 could be relaunched with electric power, according to the current owners of the brand.
In a blog post published overnight, the company explained legal challenges and environmental regulations had complicated the roll out of long-awaited petrol-powered replicas.
“We hoped to get into production by 2017 and get three to four years out of it before having to take on the engineering for a new powertrain (engine),” the blog post said.
“However, with [electric vehicles] becoming more mainstream, we’ve been considering switching to an all-electric future – it certainly makes for an easier path through [the] emissions maze which still looms large,” the post continued.
Immortalised as a time machine in the Back to the Future movie franchise, the DMC-12 was designed by Italian automotive icon Giorgetto Giugiaro in the late 1970s, and produced in Northern Ireland between 1981 and 1983.
A rear-mounted 2.85-litre V6 engine delivered an underwhelming 97kW/207Nm to the road via a five-speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic.
While aesthetically appealing, the DeLorean was widely written off as too heavy, slow, and unreliable – just 9000 examples were built before the company went bankrupt in a spectacular style, and was eventually acquired by the current owners in the 1990s.
Despite several high-profile attempts to revive the cult classic coupe, no official DeLoreans have been built since the company went under almost four decades ago.
Assuming all goes to plan, that could soon change.