The DeLorean Motor Company plans to begin building new DMC-12s.
This new push comes courtesy of the “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act,” which became law in December of 2015. The act created a “reasonable regulatory structure” for small companies looking to produce replicas of vehicles that are at least 25 years old.
Before the new law, small businesses making just a few cars were subject to the same regulations and paperwork burdens as massive automakers, but now it is much easier for them to build new vehicles. That isn’t to say that DeLorean will be able to operate outside of regulations though.
The company is still required to register with NHTSA and the EPA as well provide annual production reports. The vehicles must meet current Clean Air Act standards, though the new law allows DeLorean to use an engine and emissions equipment produced by another manufacturer. Equipment safety standards and regular recall procedures will all also apply to the new DeLoreans.
The Texas outfit that bought the remaining shares in DeLorean back in 1997 is currently searching for suitable suppliers for engines and other parts to begin building these replicas by 2017. The car is expected look the exact same at the original DMC-12 including using gull-wing doors, though the drivetrain and electronics will be totally modern.
Before we get too excited, DeLorean did say that “a number of hurdles exist before production can begin, and we’re still early on in this process of determining the feasibility of moving forward.”