DeLorean DMC-12

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Year: 1981?  2004? ``````````````````````````````````````````` Host: GT4 & GT5

Type: sports car `````````````````````````````` Country: North Ireland / United States

GT4 Price: $36,073 per memory card trade. Also, prize from unlocking Missions 1 thru 10)

GT5 Price: $0 (prize, cannot be sold for credits)

Mileage: 0.0 in either game

Length: 168.0" // Width: 73.1" // Height: 48.8"
Wheelbase: 94.8"
Overhang: 6 feet 1 inch
Track: 65.4" [F], 62.6" [R]
Ground Clearance: 4.7"
Weight: 2,839 pounds
Wgt. Distribution: 35/65

Body Construction
: stainless steel panels, steel & fiberglass frame.
Steering: unassisted rack & pinion
Turns Lock to Lock: 2.650 or 3.200 (depends which website you visit)
Turning Circle: 35 feet
Layout: Rear Engine / Rear Drive
Tires: 195/60HR-14 [F], 235/60HR-15 [R]
F. Suspension: unequal length wishbones, coils, anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: upr. & lwr. links, semi-trailing arms, coils
Brakes: solid discs front & rear or vented brakes up front with solid in rear

*The GT4 car may have been given an oil change, which explains why its got several more horses during the tests below.  

*The GT5 car did not receive oil change or engine rebuild, and was tested from zero mileage.

Engine: 2.8 liter SOHC V6
Construction: alloy of some sort..probably aluminum
Aspiration: natural
Fuel System: EFi
Valves  Cyl: 2
Bore x Stroke: 3.58" x 2.87"
Compression: 8.8:1

Final Horsepower: 207 @ 5,750 rpms      191 @ 6,000
Final Torque:        222 @ 4,000 rpms       205 @ 4,000
Credits per HP: $174.25                               N/A
Pounds per HP: 13.71                                  14.86
Hp per Liter: ```72.6                                     67.0
Idle speed: 750 // Redline: 6,750 // RPM Limit: 7,000

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Differential: probably open-type

0-60 mph: 6.683 seconds               7.148 seconds
0-100mph: 16.200 "                         17.915 "               
0-150 mph: @ 1:08.9xx                      nil
400 M: 15.157 @ 96 mph             15.668 @ 94 mph

1/4 Mile: no test                          15.724 @ 94 mph

1 Kilom.:27.166 @ 123 mph          28.072 @ 120 mph

1 Mile: no test                              38.814 @ 131 mph

Test Track Lap: 2:33.956                    1:03.200 (Daytona)
100-zero mph: 3.966 seconds            5.416

Top Gear RPM at 60 mph: 2,250

Top Speed at Redline (GT4)
1st: 44 mph
2nd: 74 mph
3rd: 110 mph
4th: @144 mph (engine struggled and never made redline in 4th)
5th: 154.21 mph @ 5,700 rpms 

Top Speed at Redline (GT5)
1st: 43.8 mph
2nd: 70.8
3rd: 106.5
4th: 138.3
5th: 149.9 mph @ 5,750 rpm


----------------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY-----------------------

One of the shortest, most fascinating, and most embarassing moments of automotive history happened just as the 1980s began. The story is one that has been told countless times. But I don't mind telling it again.

John Z. DeLorean was a top automotive executive of General Motors throughout the 1960s and '70s. Like Carrol Shelby and Preston Tucker, he had a vision...a vision to create his very own car for sale to the masses. In 1973, he quit GM to make this happen. Giorgio Giugiaro of Ital Design styled the new auto, basing it on the 1970 Porsche Tapiro concept car, which had a stainless-steel body and gullwing doors. If you're like me and never heard of the Tapiro concept, it's worth a Google, if only to see some similarities to the DeLorean.

Lotus got the job of designing the "backbone" chassis of the new DeLorean, basing it partially on the new Esprit. Colin Chapman himself oversaw most of the project. This was a confusing time, as Colin and Lotus engineers were not happy with the design of the new project, and things went back and forth between Lotus, DeLorean, and Ital Design as the car was engineered and re-engineered several times. To tell the entire story of this particular saga between Lotus and DeLorean execs would take up most of this review because it is complicated, but suffice it to say it took awhile for things to get ironed out.

One of the things John DeLorean wanted was gullwing doors. This idea was inspired by the famous 1954 Mercedes 300SL. Gullwings had made somewhat of a comeback on a handful of European exotics like the Bricklin SV-1. The new Lamborghini Countach featured "scissor" doors which swung upwards. With this trend, John was pleased that his vision was about to join an exclusive club of cars with fancy doors. Everything was "all systems go", so far as DeLorean was concerned.

Early results were shown at the 1977 Detroit Auto Show when John & company presented the first DeLorean DMC-12 concept. The "12" at the end of the car's name was supposed to represent its targeted pricetag of $12,000. The original concept either had a rotary or a 4-cylinder mid-engine layout borrowed from the CitroŽn CX (depends which website you visit), as well as "brushed-grade 304" interchangable stainless steel body panels that could be removed and replaced. It was promised that production versions would have a $12,000 tag, mid-engine, and those fancy removable panels; however, none of this would happen. 

Instead, the production car wound up with a price that more than doubled the original estimate. Despite this, John DeLorean probably didn't think it funny--and did not rename his car the "DMC-25". The new price hovered around $25,000. Just so you know, $25,000 was not cheap in the late '70s/early '80s. One of the only options one could have in a DMC-12 was a 3-speed automatic transmission, which raised the price another $650. 

The original CitroŽn motor (whether it was supposed to be a 4-cylinder or a rotary) had a transaxle that didn't work so well as production-time neared, so this was replaced by a V6 borrowed from the Renault 30, which was actually a "PRV" engine created in tandem by Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo. As things turned out, the car now had its engine mounted in the rear; an odd design choice that Lotus didn't like at all.

After that car show in 1977, it seems the world was suddenly as enthusiastic as John about his brand-new car. Till they drove it. Motor Trend, Road & Track, Car & Driver, and several other mags all took turns hosting the DeLorean concept on their cover; and why not? The DeLorean makes a good, unique car to have in your publication, unlike any other, to this day. Besides engine layout, a stainless steel exterior, and its gullwing doors, the new DMC-12 had some very futuristic touches we now take for granted including: airbags, side-impact protection, and even a tire-pressure monitoring system. Despite all this, things slowly fell apart.

DeLorean's "vision" included building the plant needed to manufacture these DMC-12s in a job-stricken area; to basically create jobs for those who needed them most. North Ireland was DMC's first choice, but plans changed, and this area would not work. Puerto Rico was the second choice. Just as papers were ready to be signed, the people in North Ireland changed their minds. They wanted DMC back in their country.

The new plant was situated in or near Belfast, and straddled two neighborhoods: one that was Protestant and another which was Catholic. The mixture of religions was an early worry for investors, of whom devoted multi-millions towards the new auto plant and the cars themselves. In fact, the plant had 2 doors leading into its scheme: one on the Catholic side, and one on the Protestant side. I'm not sure if religion ever became a serious issue during the short time the DMC-12 was in production, no website I've visited so far offers this information; but apparently the 2 doors were put where they were for practical reasons, not because religion had anything to do with it. But this didn't matter; the usual work-relations of the English/Irish climate were poor, and this was one of the factors that eventually hurt DMC's sales. Production of DMC-12s was supposed to begin in 1979, but didn't actually start till 1981. It was estimated that somewhere between 10,000 to 12,000 cars a year were needed to make things profitable, and DeLorean execs wanted to shoot for 25,000, but just 6,000 of these were produced in that first year. Overall, the plant produced about 9,200 cars from January 1981 till December of 1982, before money seriously ran out.

But why did it run out? What exactly happened?
Partially, it was due to poor quality. These cars (the earliest ones, anyways) were being made by people who were paid well but in some cases had never held a steady job! It soon became a priority of dealerships that dared sell these futuristic mobiles to closely examine the cars being shipped from Northern Ireland for panels that didn't fit, switches that didn't work, etc.
Finally, the stainless-steel bodywork was great in many ways: it was scratch-free, for instance. It was also rust-free (veeerrry important towards the end of the '70s). But the panels weren't interchangable as promised. Also, fingerprints had a habit of showing up as owners touched door-latches and other parts. For this reason, later DeLoreans actually came with a special cleaning kit, so owners could remove fingerprints and other smudges! Another issue was that every car looked the same with its shiny exterior, and DMC-12s could not be easily painted any other color; hence that's why they call it "stainless" steel. With its (high) $25,000 price, prospective DMC owners could easily afford a Lotus or some other such exotic, and have it painted in an array of colors.

Also, by the time the DMC-12 was prepared for the American market, it was thought some new road rules were going to be applied. This meant the bumper and chassis had to be raised, which is why when you see old pictures of DeLoreans, they always look a bit goofy because here you have this car that's trying to look sleek, but it also looks as if it's sitting too high off the ground.

For all these reasons, sales slowed just as they seem to have taken off. Hundreds of DeLoreans sat unsold at dealerships while DMC management struggled to keep employees working.

To save his company, John Z. DeLorean took part in some sort of cocaine deal. I'm not going into full detail here, because (again) it would take paragraphs to explain the entire story, and this info is all over the 'net as it is. Anyways, this drug deal was filmed by the FBI or some other secretive organization (opinions vary), and John was arrested. Later, he was acquitted of all charges, but the damage had been done. Not only was his future full of legal battles due to this drug deal gone awry, but his prized car-company was gone. And it sucked. But this was not the end.
Three years after the death of DMC, "Back to the Future" became a top-grossing film, and featured a DeLorean DMC-12 as its star (along with Family Ties brat Michael J. Fox). This means it's possible Back to the Future was written while the DeLorean was still in production, and its writers didn't know the company was about to go bankrupt! Another interesting plot twist happened well after DMC tanked. John Z eventually was evicted from his mansion with 400 acres of land! He died in 2005 at the age of 80.

In 1997, some rich Texan dude re-instated DMC. And here's where I got confused as I wrote and re-wrote this review like 30 times. Various websites seem to suggest he bought the DMC name, but has yet to do anything with it. No all-new DeLorean cars have been produced, apparently; although it is possible to buy a DMC-12 with a mix of new, original, and remanufactured parts. These "new" DMC-12s are priced affordably, and are being sold under whatever model year they were manufactured (2004, 2006, etc). 

I really got confused when I saw the name of the game car...a 2004 DeLorean S2. Wait a minute...what's the difference between the DMC-12 and the S2? I wondered. After much web-searching, it seems the story on "new" DeLoreans is the one I just typed above: there are no all-new DeLoreans! Wikipedia and other sites offer absolutely no info on the supposed DeLorean "S2", but I finally got an answer from an obscure post at GtPlanet which stated that the newly manufactured DeLoreans get the S2 name, which stands for "Stage 2". There is absolutely no info on the official DMC site calling these new cars "S2s", however. 
The cool thing about these newer cars is: DMC has  changed their suspension & engine tuning back to the way John wanted (the car is lowered and power is back up where it's supposed to be before the US government's rules applied). Apparently, the guy who owns DMC now may have wanted to have these refurbished DeLoreans in GT4 instead of the original car, which was quite a slug, and may not have handled as well as the car in our game (more on this later). So basically, the DeLorean is classified as a "tuner" car in Gran Turismo 4, rather than a production car, which means you can't enter it in some races. Anyways, here's the link to the thread I found at GTP for those who are insterested:

To this day, about 6,500 of the original 9,200 cars still exist, according to real-life car collectors and clubs. At 2,839 pounds, the DMC-12 is of average sports-car weight for its day; and once those stainless-steel panels are replaced by perhaps carbon-fiber and/or titanium, can be fully-reduced down to 2,572 pounds with Stage 3 weight reduction. 

This is one anybody would be curious to drive, no matter how jaded. So let's see how it does.



Back to the Future? How about...stuck in the past? Early car-reviewers of the DMC-12 concept may have been drooling at this oddity, but were not impressed at all by its powerplant.

As mentioned earlier, CitroŽn was supposed to build the engine, but Renault (or an engine created by in tandem by Renault, Peugeot, and Volvo) later got the job. Any of these companies knew how to build a reliable engine, and it is of some note that most DeLoreans still run to this day, but Renault, Peugeot, and Volvo weren't so experienced with speed. This showed in car magazine test results. Road & Track is particularly famous for its critical review, in which a zero to 60 run took place in 10.5 seconds! Not exactly blistering, even for the late '70s. Their test car made 100 mph in about 40 seconds, and boasted a 109 mph top speed. To be fair, America's emissions requirements robbed the tested DeLorean of power, but we can assume that with these sorts of numbers, there wasn't much power to begin with.

Oddly, the car in our game doesn't perform nearly this bad, as I could manage this same zero to 60 run in 6.6 seconds...6.2 if I clutched-dropped into 1st gear at 5,000 rpms. Top speed is way beyond 109 mph! Perhaps (as I surmised before) the car in our game is one of those DMC-12s with rebuilt parts. The DeLorean was slated to have 200 horses before production, but wound up with 170. Catalytic converters and other parts required by American government regulations robbed another 40 horses.

In any event, this is not a supercar engine, even if it has been refurbished. With a very low 8.8:1 compression ratio back in 1981, it seems DeLorean was toying with the slugs of his day, rather than shooting for true super-car stardom. And the car in our game gets blown away by many other vehicles, both sophisticated and mundane.

But all is not lost! For, upgrades can be had!

Apparently, the DMC-12 comes loaded with sports-quality items despite its lowish power; and really, this is "lowish" compared to many modern sports cars. Anyways, we can't buy a Stage 1 power kit, because it's already installed in our car. Also, there is no "regular" muffler. Instead, the game-car has a sports-quality muffler & air filter system in place from the day we win our DMC-12. So it seems that if the original 1981 or '82 DeLorean DMC-12 had about 130 horses after emissions killed its power, then it's not out of the question that with a Stage 1 kit + sports muffler & funnel-shaped air filter, power is boosted up to 200 bhp in our game by these extra parts.

At best, we can apply either a Stage 3 NA kit, or a Stage 2 turbo. The NA kit supplies a decent 373 bhp but the turbo spools up even more: 442 bhp with 405 foot-pounds. With this kind of power, the DMC-12 is still plenty manageable. After a whiff of turbo-lag, the Renault V6 gets down to business, and rarely will there be any sort of wheelspin with sports tires, thanks to that rear-engine layout.    

The transmission is also a Renault 5-speed. In this setting, it feels a bit on the tall side but is useful, as the car's stock top speed of 164 mph had the tachometer pegged 1,000 rpms before redline, which means you'll probably never run out of room as this car is raced down some of those longer straights. Close and super-close gears create a 5 and a 6-speed unit, respectively, and both can be used somewhere in GT4, on road or off. 

 But what we're really interested in is how does this car drive?

-------------------CHASSIS / HANDLING-------------------

DMC-12 behavior is surprisingly simple, and this part of the review (which I thought would wind up being long) is actually going to be short.

I drove this car in a couple "Special Condtion" races at Capri, and then did some laps at Seattle to try to see if that rear-engine causes any problems when the car catches air. Finally, I did a Family Cup at Route 246.

At Capri, where speed is low in many of those super-tight corners, the DeLorean behaves itself with one exception: lots of straight-line braking must be employed or some entry-corner understeer will show up. Well, I actually expected this since I've noticed rear-engine RUFs have the same habit. Since speed is low at this track, I didn't expect any issues with the rear-engine (tail-swinging and whatnot), and I didn't notice any.

At Seattle, the car now had a Stage 2 turbo bolted in with all the works, so that it was fully-powered. At higher speeds, the DMC-12 is still a compliant, grippy car with (again) one huge exception: understeer. But this time, it's gobs of understeer that show up if corners aren't entered with enough braking beforehand. The rear portion of the DMC-12 simply never misbehaved in my tests. It feels honestly planted, never gets loose, and is therefore totally reliable as a racing tool.

At Route 246, the DMC-12 was now fully-powered again, equipped with soft sport tires up front, but mediums in the rear. Didn't matter. Understeer predominates, yet there's no oversteer or rear-squirrelyness, even when braking off from straights at high speed.

Oddly, the DeLorean in our game is stock-equipped with soft sports (S3) instead of the usual medium (S2) sports. I also drove the DMC-12 on N3 tires, in an effort to try and simulate what this car really behaves like when truely stock, but all that shows up is
more understeer, and still no rear-end issues. Only when trail-braking from very high speed did the rear suddenly want to get loose, but even so... understeer predominated once brakes were being applied.
Notably, real-life testers of the DMC-12 wrote that it suffered from understeer. They also said the car had a habit of weaving from side to side as brakes were applied, and that the front brakes (rather than the rears) would lock under too much pressure...which is a scary thought. The front tires are smaller than the rears; an effort to make the car handle with more efficiency since it had a rear-engine, and this caused some of the problems. The DeLorean hadn't been tested for years upon years the way rear-engine Porsches had been at this point, which means there would have been plenty of kinks to work out over several years had DeLorean stayed in business.

Another issue is bumps. The real-life DMC-12 had a 35/65 weight distribution, which means just 994 pounds are situated up front, and the remaining 1,845 pounds are in the rear. We can witness this in our game as we drive over bumpy areas, and the front-end starts to dance since there isn't nearly as much weight up front. At times like these, things are kind of fun, 'til the steering gets too light and the car won't turn where you need to go, that is. :)

But overall, the DMC-12 is a useful sports car in the land of Gran Turismo. It may have not been as futuristic under its skin as it appeared, but totally fits in our racing games.



1). It's time to go Back to the Future in this unique car which to this day hasn't been truely replicated (and never will be) by any other car-maker. The DMC-12 is therefore a true classic.

2). Great traction 99% of the time due to the rear-engine/rear-drive layout. Wheelspin and excessive oversteer never occur with sports tires.

3). Speaking of tires, this one is shod with soft sports from the get-go.

4). It also apparently has Stage 1 tuning and a sports muffler installed from the day it gets won.

5). Two NA power kits and two turbos can be had to boost power. The results aren't staggering, but they are useful for many racing situations..

6). As an "American" car, the DeLorean can finish up some American Events in GT4.

7). Wing can be equipped on this "specialty" model. Phew.


1). The shiny, silver body work that inspired a legend was also part of its downfall, as the DeLorean can be had in just one color. Many think the DMC-12 is simply ugly, too.

2). Many have complained about this car's power...saying it "sucks". It's true that when stock, acceleration is below-average when compared to many others.

3). Tall gearing (when stock). Closer gears are needed for many GT4 tracks.

4). Understeer galore! Especially when entering those corners.

5). As bumps and grids skew the DMC's front-end from side-to-side, its already-slow, vague steering becomes unbearable at times, unless you slow way down.

6). The DMC-12 can only be won. I can't even remember where, that's how long ago it was that I won mine.

7). Poor resale value. Perhaps because this car is supposed to be the fabled "S2" version which is a "2004" model, according to GT4 info.

8). Since it is classified as a "tuner" in GT4, we can't race it in several events that only feature production cars. Even tho the DMC-12 is not a full tuner in my opinion, and still has plenty of stock production-quality parts. 

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