DeLorean Alpha5 vs. DeLorean DMC-12: New and Old Futures

It’s been more than 40 years since Doc Brown and Marty McFly added a flux capacitor to a DeLorean car to turn it into a time machine in the hit ’80s flick Back to the Future. The classic DMC-12 needed 1.21 gigawatts (1.62 million hp) of electricity to go back in time, which they achieved through channeling the power of a lightning bolt from the town’s clock tower.

The DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) is bringing back the nostalgia of the iconic car by unveiling the all-new DeLorean Alpha5 next month. DMC says the all-electric vehicle can hit 88 mph in 4.35 seconds — no lighting bolt required. Only 88 units will be initially available, piquing the interest of DMC-12 fans old and new. 

The Alpha5 bears little resemblance to the movie car outside of the name and familiar door design. So, how do these DeLorean models compare?

Price of the DeLorean Alpha5 and DMC-12

2023 DeLorean Alpha5, 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Back to the Future
2023 DeLorean Alpha5 (top) and 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 | DeLorean Motor Company (top); Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

DeLorean announced the Alpha5 will debut at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August. DMC hasn’t released the official price, but it will cost a whole lot more than the original DeLorean production model.

The DMC-12 first appeared as a prototype in 1976 with an estimated price of $12,000 (hence the number in its name). By 1981, when the model debuted, the price had escalated to more than double, costing $25,000.

Autoblog reports that a complete road-ready production run of the Alpha5 should begin in Italy in 2024. The expected sticker price of the base-model DeLorean Alpha5 will hover around $200,000. That’s the equivalent of eight DMC-12 models. Great Scott!

DeLorean Alpha5 and DMC-12 design and features

The DMC-12 was the innovative creation of John DeLorean, who founded the DeLorean Motor Company in 1975. The company lost everything seven years later, and in 1995, a Texas-based DeLorean restorer bought the rights to the brand, directing its focus to an electric model.

The Italian design house Italdesign helped design the DMC-12 and is now credited with the unique design features of the new Alpha5 EV. Both vehicles feature the iconic gullwing doors, turbine-style wheels, and flared wheel arches, but that’s about as far as the similarities go.

DeLorean Alpha5 EV DeLorean DMC
DeLorean Alpha5 | DeLorean Motor Company

Though the DMC-12 had an angular stainless-steel body, the 2023 Alpha5 boasts a sleek, curvy silhouette with LED light bars for headlights and taillights. Where the flux capacitor sat in the DMC-12 is a frunk in the Alpha5. In addition, due to its aerodynamic body, the new EV has a low coefficient of drag of 0.23 CD, compared to the 14 CD of the DMC-12.

Though the DMC-12 had enough room for only Doc and Marty, the new Alpha5 seats four in a minimalistic cabin. A wraparound dashboard features a widescreen driver’s display, and a vertical infotainment display occupies the center console. Unlike the car from Back to the Future, the Alpha5 doesn’t have a date display to activate the time machine.

Fuel economy

The DeLorean DMC-12 ran on gas, with an estimated fuel economy rating of 21 mpg. Its 13.5-gallon gas tank gave the vehicle an approximate range of 283 miles. According to the DeLorean Directory, 91-octane unleaded was the only gasoline used in the car.

Complete specs aren’t yet available for the Alpha5, but the battery pack will be larger than 100 kWh, allowing for a 300-mile range on a full charge. 

Dimensions

The DeLorean DMC-12 was a coupe sports car with a curb weight of 2,743 pounds. Autoevolution puts its dimensions at 168.1 inches long, 72.8 inches wide, and 46.1 inches tall.

The DeLorean Alpha5 is much larger, measuring 196.6 inches long, 80.5 inches wide, and 53.9 inches tall. The wheelbase is 90.6 inches.

According to Supercars.net, the DMC-12 took six years to design, and the DeLorean Motor Company invested $100 million in its production. The automaker built only 9,000 units. As DriveSpark puts it, “Hopefully, the new Alpha5 will be a success story despite its lack of time travel gadgetry.”

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