Electric cars

Driving the Electrogenic DeLorean DMC-12: This Sucker’s Electrical

by Nik Berg
10 July 2024 3 min read
Driving the Electrogenic DeLorean DMC-12: This Sucker’s Electrical

Great Scott! Almost 40 years after Doc Brown sent a DeLorean Back to the Future, owners of the iconic car can convert it to run on electricity thanks to a new drop-in kit from Electrogenic.

Instead of the wheezy 2.9-litre Renault V6, there’s a 160kW (215bhp) electric motor in the engine bay beneath a battery pack. More cells are positioned up front where the fuel tank used to be, for a total capacity of 43kWh – 1.21 gigawatts was deemed a little excessive.

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That motor drives via a single-ratio gearbox and transaxle, sending a monstrous 2360lb ft of torque to the rear wheels.

Electrogenic Delorean battery

Where the original would limp to 60mph in ten seconds (and take the full length of the Twin Pines Mall parking lot to reach 88mph), Electrogenic’s DeLorean will hit the benchmark in five seconds flat.

The conversion does add some weight, but at 40kg it’s really just the equivalent of a full tank of fuel. Even Marty McFly couldn’t describe it as “heavy”. There’s CCS rapid charging, which is a lot easier than stealing plutonium or predicting a lightning strike, and range is 150 miles if driven conservatively.

Electrogenic Electric DeLorean - Credit Alex Penfold DSC07626

You’d need to be in Eco mode to achieve that, and it’s with the central rotary switch set in that position that I set off for my first tentative lap of the small circuit at Bicester Heritage. It feels pretty keen even with the wick turned down, surging forward with enthusiasm. To conserve battery power it coasts when I back off the throttle and the regenerative braking only kicks in when I actually hit the left pedal.

Next up is a near-one-pedal setting, with aggressive regeneration. In this mode, it’s quite possible to get around the circuit only using the brakes for the right-hander at the end of the straight, such is the powerful retardation from just lifting off the accelerator.

Electrogenic Delorean action 3

Finally, there’s a sport mode, which delivers all the power and none of the regen. Exiting the right-hander onto the straight, the violent torque delivery lights a one-tyre fire at the rear and requires a good armful of correction. I’m actually pushed back into the driver’s seat with the forward thrust. Marty would have had no trouble outrunning a VW bus-load of Libyans if he’d been driving this.

As is Electrogenic’s standard practice, it’s only the powertrain that gets swapped, but I’m pleasantly surprised at the way the DeLorean rides and drives. Underneath is the chassis of a Lotus, of course, and now, with the extra performance it seems to shine. The unassisted steering is a little heavy at low speeds, but once rolling, there’s a directness to it and plenty of feedback. Yes, there’s body roll, dive, and squat, but it’s all manageable and generally there’s quite a nice flow to the experience.

Only once, when attempting to reach time travel speed and running out of runway, do I have a moment of concern. As the Doc warned: “If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious sh*t.” Fortunately, there’s just enough in the brakes to get me through the corner, although they do smell somewhat warm afterwards.

Knowing that the car has a future with its owner, I do a cool-down lap and pay attention to the subtle interior modifications. The rev counter is repurposed to show power and regeneration, while there’s a small LCD screen added to display drive mode and state of charge. Where the gear selector once sat there are two rotary dials – one to select drive, neutral, or reverse, and the other to choose the performance mode. There’s an upgraded head unit to play the compulsory Huey Lewis and the News soundtrack, air conditioning, and even a glowing Flux Capacitor seated between the seats as a finishing touch.

Those won’t be part of the kit that Electrogenic supplies to its network of fitting partners, but no doubt you could always ask. Depending on exactly how you spec it the conversion cost is estimated to be between £65,000 and £85,000 plus taxes.

Now, that’s a lot to future-proof a DeLorean, but really it does much more than that. It gives the DMC-12 the performance to match its appearance, doing away with a lacklustre powertrain that nobody in their right mind would miss.

Of all the EV-swapped classics I’ve encountered, I think this one will be the least divisive and it’s certainly the most entertaining and well-balanced. To paraphrase Marty once more, if you guys aren’t ready for that, your kids are gonna love it.

Electrogenic Delorean NB

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