The DeLorean became a universal icon in 1981. Unknown to the larger public, the brand was beginning its evolution behind closed doors. Within the DeLorean archives, the untold story of the DMC-24 was uncovered, DeLorean’s first Alpha.
The DMC-24, also known internally as Project 831/1 or DMC200, was a 4-5 seat vehicle originally designed in 1981. Archived sketches revealed a step towards DeLorean’s future with a departure from its stainless-steel body and the exploration of new materials.
In 1982, the DeLorean Alpha underwent wind tunnel testing. The project continued through 1985, but ultimately remained unreleased.
The 1990s heralded advances in aerodynamics and material design. These allowed for freer expression in automotive design and engineering, which helped DeLorean move into a new decade with its second icon, the Alpha2, in 1996. Alpha2 represents DeLorean’s first complete departure from the legacy design of the DMC-12.
The Alpha2 roadster was a vision of the future. It represented the brand’s evolving design languages propelled by improving technology. Computer modeling became a crucial tool to facilitate vehicle simulations, allowing designers and engineers to enter new territories of a vehicle’s form and function.
The Alpha2’s exterior was a steel composite material that showcased an American approach to design, angular body lines that were still sleek and simplistic. Its low-profile spoiler nodded to a movement in the 90s automotive industry, an increased emphasis on aerodynamics. The now iconic gullwing doors had also evolved. Under the hood was an internal combustion engine.
By the end of the 1990s, the auto industry was exploring environmentally friendly sources of energy and continued its focus on aerodynamic design and advanced materials. Automotive technology was rapidly progressing, introducing smart keys and Bluetooth integration at the close of the decade. The realms of technological possibility were beginning to catch up with a vision previously unattainable. With this in mind, DeLorean set its sights on the new millennium.
The 2000s ushered in a new generation of technologies and advancements. At the start of the decade manufacturers were already introducing GPS navigation and rearview cameras into their vehicles. With rapid technological advancements, it was understood that electric vehicle technology would be of high importance in the future. 2006 saw the release of the DeLorean Alpha3, a luxury sedan, and the brand’s first interpretation of an electric vehicle.
Focused on aero-engineering and new material alternatives, this concept vehicle was not intended for mass production. However, it would pen the first chapter of the brand’s venture into new energy. The EV was designed with a distinct purpose, to redefine what was possible and explore all aspects of the vehicle in bold and progressive ways.
Made of an aluminum composite material, the Alpha3’s exterior was quite different than its predecessors. The sedan had a variety of new considerations that molded its futuristic appearance. Still, threads of DeLorean’s brand DNA were clearly weaved into its design. The EV pushed boundaries with a split gullwing door, lined with LED dot lights to highlight its iconic silhouette. Alternative materials and fabrics that were environmentally conscious were utilized in the vehicle’s interior.
Beyond the battery, an emphasis on the driver guided the creation of the Alpha3’s features. The brand began to hone in on the very definition of what it meant for a vehicle to be a DeLorean. How a DeLorean sounds, looks, feels, and more importantly what level of human connection could it provide. There was a foundational commitment from the brand to sacrifice boastful vehicle specs for the joy of driving.
The 2010s was a decade of endless technological possibility. The takeover of tech was apparent, as vehicles now had the capability to provide automatic driver assistance features, mobile wireless internet, and even autonomous driving.
Automotive brands were in a race to electrification, with new hybrids and EVs entering the market from all corners of the industry. New entrants helped propel the evolution of mobility in a different way as they challenged established legacy OEMs. DeLorean, having spent the prior decade exploring new energy sources, was ready to extend the brand in the pick-up/SUV segment. In 2013, the DeLorean Alpha4 was released, an SUV powered by hydrogen.
The Alpha4 SUV entered the market at a unique point in history. America was emerging from an economic recession, yet upon its recovery the automotive industry saw the SUV become the fastest growing market. DeLorean was readily positioning the brand to create a broader portfolio of vehicles and explore new segments.
The Alpha4 was a pioneer in the new energy space characterized by its fuel cell engine. A 4-wheel drive system propelled the powerful yet sleek frame. The SUVs spacious interior had room for 7 to 8 passengers, expanding its demographic reach with a continued sense of wonder.
As the decade closed DeLorean was preparing for its most ambitious project to date. Standing on the shoulders of a lifetime of learnings, development, and evolution, the brand was finally at the pivotal moment to boldly introduce a vision that was generations in the making.
The 2020s marks the birth of DeLorean Motor Company Inc, a new energy mobility company, allowing Classic DMC to focus on maintaining and supporting the iconic DMC-12. On February 13, 2022, DeLorean stealthily positioned itself the forefront of the industry. After a cryptic commercial that flashed a gullwing door silhouette emerging from the shadows, news outlets and social media ignited with speculation and theories about what was next for the brand. On May 30, 2022, the first images of the DeLorean Alpha5 EV were revealed to the world. The 2+2 coupe would make its first physical appearance at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The 2022 DeLorean Alpha5 represents a brand evolution 40 years in the making. Going back to the first DeLorean Alpha for inspiration, the Alpha5 showcases the DNA of its predecessors with respect and ingenuity. The technological innovations of the 2020s are finally in a place to meet the vision of the Alpha5. DeLorean has the capabilities needed to bring to life the Alpha5 in the best way possible, any other moment in time would have been premature.
The striking looks of the Alpha5 have gained widespread praise. Sleek lines on the body of the vehicle embrace a wide frame, allowing the coupe to include two back seats. Classic louvers fitted the rear window of the EV, and DeLorean’s iconic gullwing doors have made a reappearance as an homage to its rebellious beginnings. The base model of the Alpha5 Launch Edition has electronically limited speed of 155mph with a range of over 300 miles.
Due to the influences of the early 2020s, the importance of human connection has been top of mind for the brand in a changing world. The EV’s interior design was crafted to enhance the driver’s connection with people and the world around them. The coupe has unique features that created a sanctuary to enhance the journey of the drive while connecting them to what matters most.
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