The New DeLorean Alpha5 Just Arrived and We Take You Hands-On

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The DeLorean is back from the future but also from the past in the brand’s first true relaunch since its heady, infamous days in the early 80s. After getting a close look at a prototype of the new Alpha5 I think it has a chance of standing out from a crowd of high-end electric GT’s that are gunning for Tesla’s domination of luxury car sales. Here’s what intrigued me – and flat-out surprised me.

If you aren’t a car buff, you would never guess this car has any relation to the original DeLorean DMC-12.


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A tasty exterior

The Alpha5 is a real looker, as was the original DMC-12, but in a completely different way. If you aren’t a car buff you’d never guess this car is related to the original DeLorean. It’s a much larger car (what car isn’t compared to those from 40+ years ago) though still featuring gullwing doors, now massive enough to reveal both rows of seats at once. 

The face and rump of the Alpha5, key brand statements of any car, have no correlation to those of the DMC-12, nor does the side profile, which is curvaceous and organic compared to the DMC-12’s angular origami. Italdesign created heavily-detailed ends of the car without it having the busy chaos of a C8 Corvette, to my eye. Fun fact: The original DeLorean was also designed by Italdesign back when it was under the leadership of legendary founder Giorgetto Giugiaro.

If you’re a fan of shooting brakes, the sort of low, lean version of a station wagon that the Brits and Europeans love, a future version of the Alpha5 will be in that form; DeLorean calls it a Plasma Tail. My brief peek under the drape confirmed it looks like it should be first out of the gate, not second.

DeLorean Alpha5 Plasma Tail

What DeLorean calls a Plasma Tail others call a shooting brake body style. Either way, its what I’d open with if it were my company.


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What moves you

There’s not as much to get excited about in the powertrain department, partly because details are still scant and partly because of my personal theory that electric car powertrains are more alike than combustion car powertrains ever were, thanks to electric power’s uniform excellence. The Alpha5 will be a dual motor all-wheel drive arrangement with an expected range of 300 miles and a 0-60 time of 3 seconds. There are presently no plans to offer different range variants.

Have a seat and a hug

Things really get interesting when the Alpha5’s doors go up. The cabin has a strong wraparound bow shape with two LCD screens, the larger of which can display a modern digital instrument cluster or a perfect replica of the DMC-12’s analog instruments. Clever. 

DeLorean Alpha5 instrument panel

The Alpha5’s digital instrument panel can perfectly mimic that of the original DeLorean.


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Then there’s something called DeLorean Sense: A connected band you can give to loved ones or (really close) friends allows their heartbeat to be transmitted into your driver seat, their body temp into the seat’s heater and even a hug sent from them to you via power side bolsters. I stared at DeLorean CMO Troy Beetz for a moment after he described these; I don’t think he was kidding. Apple does a couple of these tricks with their watch but hasn’t figure out the hug thing yet.

DeLorean Sense Band

This band would enable others’ heartrate, temperature or hugs to be transmitted to you as you drive your Alpha5, presumably in bliss.


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Like every car under the sun, the Alpha5 can import your phone contacts but this car will do more than use them to support calls and texts: As you drive, the addresses of people in your list will appear on the live map screen to refresh your awareness that they live or work nearby, perhaps rekindling fading friendships. It’s an interesting mashup of location, social and check-in that Google Maps on Android does to a lesser degree.

On top of the dash are two narrow LEDs that will both glow when you’re heading toward a location you’ve configured as your special place, be that home, a vacation spot or the office (please don’t). DeLorean calls this a True North indicator and, honestly, it’s the most out there of a basket of edgy technology visions inside this car.

The bottom line

The Alpha5 will go on very limited sale in 2024 and, as such, there’s no pricing yet. That said, the company openly targets cars like the Lucid Air, Mercedes EQS sedan and Tesla Model S Plaid, so it’s not a bad guess that the Alpha5’s base MSRP will be widely around $125,000. DeLorean plans to select a US-based manufacturing partner which would check off at least one of the boxes of the complicated new rules for federal EV tax credits if the car’s over-$55,000 price didn’t exclude it first.

I probably have a somewhat irrational soft spot for the Delorean brand, as far removed from the heady early 80s as it may be. The original car had a certain Apple-ness about it, captured our imagination rather than generating resentment of its well-heeled buyers, and had a truly American flavor – even though it was the product of Italian design and British manufacturing.

The Alpha5 is the product of a different company in a different era, and lacks the larger-than-life leader that was John Delorean (no slight against the new company’s leaders who I’m sure won’t get mixed up with any illicit suitcases). But its a good example of a fertile moment in automotive history that most of us won’t see again in our lifetimes.

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