Back to the future: The DeLorean DMC-12 will return in 2017

Thanks to new regulations, the company can revive the classic (mostly) intact

DeLorean DMC-12

More than 30 years after the last new car rolled off the production line, the classic, petrol-powered DeLorean DMC-12 is coming back. No, really! The DeLorean Motor Company announced the move yesterday.

How is it possible that the Back to the Future car can return to the past most intact? Well, it's due to a legal change: the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, passed last month in the United States, says that small companies can produce small amounts of replica cars that match designs that are at least 25 years in age.

Effectively, it allows a company to create a small batch of cars that don't match today's intense motor vehicle regulations designed for giants that produce millions of rides each year. The current DeLorean Motor Company, which picked up the rights to the car's branding in 1995, along with the remaining parts, plans to start producing about 300 of the DMC-12 later this year for release in 2017.

They'll use old parts to create a familiar-looking car, although at least one significant thing will be different: the engine. DeLorean will need to use an engine that meets the clean air and regulatory standards of its era, which shouldn't be too difficult, however they won't be DeLorean originals.

According to vice president James Espey, who spoke with Jalopnik, they're looking at three options: two domestic (U.S.) engines, and one foreign-made. The favourite is apparently a V6 capable of 300-400 HP, which Jalopnik believes may be Japanese (and possibly a Toyota). It will also have larger brakes, wheels, and shocks from a German maker.

Still, these are new DeLoreans that'll hit the road in about a year, although they're estimated to sell for more than US$100,000. They won't let you travel through time - without heavy modifications, that is - but at least you'll be able to get your hands on one of the most original, iconic cars of all time.

[Sources: Jalopnik, DeLorean]