No one buys a DMC DeLorean because it’s an especially good car. It’s something you want because it’s (thanks in large part to Back to the Future) a cultural icon, because it’s quirky, and because it’s instantly recognisable.
Although a lot of the reviews from the time of the car’s launch were more positive than you might imagine, the DeLorean has various issues ranging from build quality to iffy dynamics. Perhaps the weakest part of the whole thing is the 2.85-litre PRV V6 engine, which takes its name from its joint developers Peugeot, Renault and Volvo. It produces a meagre 130bhp, making for a 0-60mph time of just 10.5 seconds. Even back in the early 80s, this was considered sluggish, particularly since the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed body with its gullwing doors suggested something more thrilling.
Most people who own one these days are happy to live with the DeLorean’s foibles. A few, though, prefer to fix them, as expensive as that might be. And this example featured in the latest One Take video from The Smokin’ Tire is a masterclass in rectifying DMC’s mistakes using modern parts and know-how.
The headline change involved ditching that asthmatic PRV engine. Pleasingly, owner Nick didn’t just want to drop in a General Motors LS V8 as some have done before with the DeLorean, instead opting to switch a V6 for a V6. This new one is much more modern - it’s the 3.3-litre twin-turbo engine from a Kia Stinger GT.
Not that you’d recognise it when peering into the DeLorean’s engine bay. Sitting atop the V6 is a gorgeous custom intake manifold milled from a block of aluminium and bearing DMC branding. The stock turbochargers meanwhile have been swapped for Garrett G25s, and there are bespoke air-to-air intercoolers inspired by those found on a Ferrari F40.
This isn’t the only Maranello influence going on, as the car was built by a chap called Steve Maxwell, a renowned Ferrari tuner based in San Diego. And so, the brakes are borrowed from a Ferrari 348 Challenge.
To cope with the 487rwhp might of the worked-over Kia engine, the DeLorean’s original five-speed manual gearbox has made way for the transmission from a 996 Porsche 911 plus a limited-slip differential. The Lotus Esprit-derived Y-frame structure of the car has been strengthened, and on the suspension front, there are now KW coilovers all round plus new lower control arms.
All of this comes together to make something very special. Matt Farah is duly impressed by the “un-sh-t boxed” DeLorean, which now stops and steers well, goes like stink and even keeps the driver cool thanks to a Stinger lending its air conditioning as well as its engine. What a thing.