Archive for April, 2012

Back to the past and not in a good way

One of the cars they had at the 2012 New York Auto Show was the electric Delorean.  Yes, the Back to the Future car.  While the Delorean was a revolutionary car and a much loved movie hero, this car should have stayed in 1985.

The presenter was well informed about the car and the electric Delorean had some nice specs: 0-60 in about 5 seconds, about 100 mile range, and 125 mph top speed.  Unfortunately, one major problem is that…it’s a Delorean.

Both electric and gas powered Deloreans are sold as new, untitled cars from the 1980s because the cars are built from new, unsold frames with VINs from the 80s. When the original Delorean went under, they had years worth of parts to build new cars which were eventually bought by the new Delorean. The new Delorean can completely rebuild old cars or build you a new one from spare parts. The problem is that they’re still building cars from the 1980s. 30 years of advancements in car design are generations beyond the old safety, suspension, and convenience features of the Delorean. Since the car was designed in 1976, it was designed before computers did most of the design and engineering testing. One of the reasons kit cars can be built to such high performance levels at minimal cost is because they don’t meet any modern safety, emissions, or fit-finish standards. And even then, since you’re building it yourself, you save lots of money. The new electric Delorean has an estimated price of $95,000. For that kind of money, why wouldn’t you buy a Tesla? Because they’re too common?

If I had the car and parts, I would happily assemble this car as a toy or boulevard cruiser but when there’s a much better modern car, I don’t know how many buyers will choose this.  Even a mass produced Tesla or Leaf have limited capability. So what is this car? A fun project and good promotional tool for a good car from 1985. The license plate says “Gas? Where we’re going we don’t need gas”. I’ll wait for the hover conversion.

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