In the mid 1970s John Delorean, well known in the American automobile industry as a capable engineer, business innovator and the youngest to become a General Motors executive, designed a unique stainless steel-bodied car with gull-wing doors - it became a classic sports car that shook the world of motoring, appearing in the hit movie
'Back to the Future'.
Delorean built a production facility in Belfast. However, in 1982 the company went into receivership and bankruptcy after a combination of financing production and supply problems... fewer than 7,000 cars were produced.
In 1995, Liverpool-born mechanic Stephen Wynne founded the current Delorean Motor Company located in Humble, Texas, acquiring the remaining parts inventory and the stylized "DMC" logo trademark of DeLorean Motor Company.
Fast forward to June 2008 and the revived DeLorean Motor Company revealed the Alpha5 a modern reimagining of the '80s cult classic sports car. It had its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance car show in California to great acclaim.
The new battery-electric version of this classic two-door sports car will have a range north of 300 miles and a top speed of around 155 mph. An all-electric Alpha5 will be in production next year.
"The Alpha5 is a representation of the past 40 years of DeLorean," DMC Chief Marketing Officer Troy Beetz said in a statement. "There was this enormous responsibility to make sure we honoured the history of the DeLorean brand, but an even greater responsibility in curating its future ... I think we did both with the Alpha5."
CEO Joost de Vries confirms that the Alpha 5 will be built in in San Antonio, though he also hinted that the vehicle would be manufactured in Italy. He said that a manufacturing plant would be constructed in San Antonio and DMC would hire 450 workers through the next several years to run it.
DMC is partnering with Volkswagen-backed Italdesign, which helped develop the original DeLorean, to build the Alpha 5. The new electric vehicle will keep some of the iconic design staples of the original DeLorean, such as louvers on the rear windshield and top-opening wing doors.
Though the original DeLorean became a pop culture icon through its appearance in 1985's "Back to the Future," the original vehicle was woefully underpowered" and was not a comfortable car to drive. That, de Vries said, won't be the case with the new iteration; it won't be a hypercar, but the will be designed for "people who want to drive."
The base Alpha 5 is expected to have a zero to 60 mph acceleration rate under three seconds and from zero to 88 mph -the speed needed to achieve time travel in the movie - in at an impressive 4.35 seconds.
DMC say they are proud to have kept the DeLorean brand alive and strong for nearly half a century.
De Vries added: "The brand never left the market. A lot of the ideas that DeLorean worked with in the early 80s is actually something that we are continuing
to developing further."