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DeLorean sale process eyes speculator market

The questionable practice of buying and selling car production ‘slots’ is becoming commonplace

13 Sep 2022

A SPECULATOR market will no doubt develop around the 88 new DeLorean Alpha5 coupes that will be produced, aided and abetted by the company itself. 


The questionable practice of buying and selling car production ‘slots’ is becoming commonplace, particularly relating to expensive and sporty cars such as the Corvette C8 as well as in-demand electric cars and off-roaders.


In an operation that has gouge written all over it, prospective DeLorean Alpha5 Coupe buyers are asked to spend $US88 for Alpha Club lifetime membership before spending a further $US2500 to purchase a randomised production slot or reservation “on the DeLorean Exchange”.


This appears to be a speculator market created by DeLorean, where buyers are expected to buy and sell the opportunity to purchase one of the company’s cars.


“Once you’ve successfully purchased your production slot on the DeLorean Exchange, DeLorean Flex enables you to transfer, trade, or sell your production slot to other Alpha Club members,” says the DeLorean website.


“Members who were unable to secure a production slot have the ability to purchase one from other Alphas Club members on the DeLorean Exchange.”


DeLorean has added an element of urgency to the online process by including a clock ticking down to the offer’s expiry date on September 30.


“DeLorean is eager to hear your feedback on our launch edition personas. This selection does not indicate final vehicle colour. Additional options will be available for selection at the time of configuration,” says the website.


“Once spots are filled that’s it, they’re gone so mark your calendar by clicking on an icon below.”


In relation to the actual car, should it not become vapourware, it looks all good.


As was the case with the original stainless-steel-bodied DeLorean DMC-12 from 1985, the latest DeLorean Alpha5 Coupe is a seriously slick attention-grabber, right down to its signature gullwing doors and sweeping fastback silhouette.


In a nod to the original, it even comes with a metallic exterior finish including a stunning launch colour called Chromosphere Red. In fact, its design pedigree comes from legendary styling house ItalDesign – responsible for the original DMC-12.


The Alpha5 is claimed to be capable of clocking a 0-100km/h dash in 2.9 seconds.


On top of all that, Alpha5 is a singular design that channels some of the most beautiful sportscars currently available, notably Jaguar’s F-Type (at the rear) and concept cars from car-makers like Audi in profile and around the frontal area.


Based on looks and purported performance, the new DeLorean deserves to succeed in the new millennium despite the rather suspect marketing practices being employed by its makers.


It packs an electric powertrain about as far removed as possible from the original DeLorean’s fairly asthmatic Renault 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.


The Alpha5 scores big with electric power fed by a 100kWh battery that delivers performance to keep the Porsche Taycan honest.


DeLorean is keeping its cards close to its chest as to powertrain specifics, suffice to say adequate power and torque will be on tap if that acceleration time is to be believed. 


Similar performance comes from cars with twin electric motors developing something like 500kW and 800Nm of torque combined.


DeLorean says the base performance model can be charged at home or via a public high-speed charger, its 100kWh battery pack providing up to 480km range, an estimated top speed of 250km/h.


DeLorean CEO Joost de Vries says “The Alpha5 is for people that love to drive.”


In styling terms, the Alpha5 features elements of the 1985 original including horizontal-styled LED headlights and taillights, turbine style alloy wheels, gullwing outlines in the lower grille and rear valance, a louvre rear window cover and DeLorean badging stamped into the rear bumper.


The aerodynamically efficient Alpha5 cuts a low drag coefficient of a mere 0.23Cd. DeLorean says the Alpha5 is based on a new chassis structure with an ultra-strong and lightweight carbon-fibre tub.


Other models are hinted for the future, namely the Alpha 1, Alpha2, Alpha3 and Alpha4, on a newly launched microsite. There is even mention of an SUV.


Inside is a study in minimalist Euro-chic offering room for the driver and three passengers in a compact arrangement. Four individual bucket seats are provided upholstered in a stylish but impractical white textile. The minimalist cockpit features a digital instrument cluster, floating touchscreen infotainment array, separate climate control panel and two-tier floating console.


The car significantly larger than DMC-12, measuring 4995mm in length (+728mm), 2044mm in width (+56mm) and 1370mm in height (+230mm). The shorter wheelbase measures an even 2300mm (-113mm).


DeLorean says the Alpha5 will be produced in Italy with driveline components sourced from the UK.


Guaranteeing exclusivity is the production run of only 88 units, or approximately 8900 fewer than DMC-12’s total production number.


The Alpha5 prototype comes nearly 40 years after production ended on the original DeLorean in December 1982. In 2015, it was estimated that approximately 6500 original DeLorean vehicles were still on the road.


It retailed for $29,825 in 1982. Price details for the new Alpha5 DeLorean have not yet been announced.

The DeLorean Alpha5 Launch Edition made its official public debut on August 21 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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