The DMC DeLorean, with its distinctive gull-wing doors, was the only car ever produced by the ill-starred DeLorean Motor Company before it went bust in 1982.
Since then the vehicle has become a cult classic, aided by its starring role as a makeshift time machine used by Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the Eighties sci-fi trilogy.
Now a successor company founded by an expatriate British entrepreneur has hinted that it is building a fully electric version, though it has not given any details.
The new DeLorean Motor Company (no relation) released a short teaser video just before Sunday’s Super Bowl, using the hashtag #ElectricVehicle and suggesting the name of the new model may be the DeLorean EVolved.
The Texas-based firm has said nothing else about the car, beyond inviting people to sign up to its mailing list.
An increasing number of companies are now building electric vehicles (EVs), which advocates hope will help reduce humanity’s carbon footprint and mitigate global warming.
Many governments now offer subsidies or tax credits to promote EVs, and last year the US Congress passed an omnibus infrastructure law including $7.5bn (£5.5bn) to build a national EV charging point network.
The modified DeLorean time machine used in Back to the Future is also electric, although its power source is a fictional “Mr Fusion” home nuclear reactor that produces 1.21 gigawatts (about the equivalent of 440 utility-grade wind turbines).
The first DeLorean Motor Company was founded with great fanfare in 1975 by John Z DeLorean, who had created America’s first “muscle car” and was a star engineer with General Motors.
The British government invested tens of millions of pounds in DeLorean’s Belfast assembly plant, hoping to defuse political violence by providing 2,500 new jobs.
But in 1982 John DeLorean was arrested and charged with conspiring with undercover FBI agents to distribute 55lbs of cocaine as part of a scheme to save his business. He claimed entrapment and was acquitted, but the company was doomed.
The new company was founded by Stephen Wynne, originally from Liverpool, who bought a warehouse full of leftover DeLorean components and became a major spare parts vendor to the car’s remaining enthusiasts.
In 2015 the company settled out of court with John DeLorean’s widow Sally, who had sued it for using its predecessor’s trademarks to sell merchandise without permission.
Since then Mr Wynne has been attempting to build a new model, telling The Hustle in 2020 that he wanted to “make a car they never got to make”.
The original DeLorean was too expensive for many customers at $25,000, the equivalent of $77,323 in today’s money, yet suffered from poor acceleration and horsepower for a sports car, as well as the occasional stuck door.