Delorean DMC 12 Driven

The Delorean DMC 12 is famous for two things. The first its role in the ‘Back to the Future’ film series, as the unlikely choice of a plutonium powered time machine that used Sci-Fi wizardry such as Flux Capacitors. The second based on a rather dubious production life that got cut short amongst accusations of corruption and drug trafficking. An extreme case indeed, but have you ever wondered what it is like to drive a Delorean DMC 12? We have and can tell you that it’s better than you might think.

The secret to the Delorean DMC 12’s surprise driving prowess is also two-fold. The first down to Colin Chapman’s involvement where its chassis owes a lot to the one sat underneath the Lotus Esprit, the cabin also has a familiar feel. The second because although the Peugeot – Renault – Volvo (PRV) V6 power-plant fell well short of the planned 200BHP for this car. It has incredible range and versatility that makes it very easy to keep a good turn of pace when out and about. Couple that with a relatively high first gear for quick getaways, one that combines really well with the lusty V6 soundtrack, including pops and bangs on overrun, and the Delorean DMC 12 is the real surprise bell of the classic car ball. Audio clip reveals how Delorean DMC 12 sounds a bit like a Metro 6R4.

Delorean DMC
The Delorean DMC 12 was entirely on the right lines and we think with 200bhp a real threat to the Lotus Esprit

Interestingly the V6 engine is also completely rear-mounted which introduces a Porsche like front end bobble to the driving experience. Now that doesn’t make it a Porsche 911, let us not kid ourselves, but it does add another dimension to how it drives. As does its width, which is very, well wide, meaning as a left hooker in the UK anything less than a decent sized A-Road requires a good and continuous awareness to prevent any unfortunate incidents. Fortunately the ‘bump-bump- bump’ noise generated by running over cats-eyes serves as a useful reminder on where the right hand side of the car is.

Sit inside and you get a strong sense of 80’s cliché from the dashboard dials and controls which have a sort of Renault look and feel about them. The very plush leather seats and thickly carpeted trim on every other surface also give an upmarket feel. Of course the pièce de résistance has to be those lovely stainless steel clad gull wing doors that as well as looking like something out of Star Trek have a nice meaty feel to them. They also make a similar noise to the ones in Star Trek when you open and close them, psshhh-psshhh. Another little factoid about this car is the stainless steel cladding on the body is just that, stainless steel stuck onto the plastic body underneath adding nothing at all to the structure. Why stainless steel, only those involved must know?

Delorean DMC
Trademark gullwing doors add to space age look and feel

Out on the open highway the Delorean DMC 12 does not disappoint, the absence of outright power is countered by the sheer range provided by the V6 motor for quick ‘enough’ progress. The high first gear means acceleration to 40mph is definitely good enough to prevent instant embarrassment at every set of lights. The width and relatively poor visibility out front, the last you see of the bonnet is as you get inside when it disappears completely from view, can be accommodated with a few neck stretches at tighter junctions. The even better news is the reaction from other road users is definitely a positive one, so you’re unlikely to get anything other than comments like: have you just come back from the future? This therefore is not a car for the shy and retiring, but then you knew that already.

I have to say that the Delorean DMC 12 won me over and I am now a fan. Despite its extreme life and for that matter extreme looks it is a genuinely good car to run around in. The soundtrack, high first gear, rear engine induced front end bobble all combine to make it a very enjoyable driving experience. Shame in a way it is as wide as it is, because a bit narrower and I think you would consider pushing a bit harder on B-Roads, like you would in an early 911.

A Delorean DMC 12 driven is a better car than you think it is going to be. Its looks are still out of this world and those gullwing doors are to die for.

How does this car make you feel?

In one word: McFly (Marty)

As a favourite meal: Not a favourite meal as such, I’ve not even tried one, but that dried stuff astronauts eat, Pot Noodle but not as you know it.

Anything Else: A poser and discerning driver at the same time and surprisingly in equal measure.

Key Ingredients: Space age looks, width, lusty sounding V6 engine, high first gear and Porsche-like front end bobble.


With thanks to Great Escape Classic Car Hire


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