There are few movie cars more recognisable than this one, possibly – the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 that starred in Back To The Future could have passed for a spaceship at the time, and indeed it was portrayed so.

Design house Italdesign has shown a teaser on its Facebook page, with an image of the 1981 original stacked atop the shadowy teaser of a new concept, which is seen to also feature gullwing doors in harking back to the original, with the DeLorean Motor Company tagged in its post.

This is the sole image to come from the Moncalieri, Italy-based design and engineering firm, but the caption attached to the image assures more is coming soon – what better way to celebrate an icon of automotive history than with a sneak peek into the near future, it said.

A statement released by the DeLorean Motor Company earlier this week said that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States has completed a regulation that permits low-volume motor vehicle manufacturers to sell replica cars that resemble models produced at least 25 years ago.

The DeLorean has been revived as electric vehicles, by Stanford University (left) and Queen’s University Belfast (right)

Given the silhouette shown in the teaser image, it is highly unlikely that the concept will resemble the 1980s original; the teaser here shows outer bodywork that site further outboard of the glasshouse, as opposed to bodywork of the original that slopes continually from the roof to the wheel arches.

As for its powertrain, DeLorean’s work on the engine for the replica was looking unlikely to survive regulations past 2024 anyway, the company noting that “it doesn’t seem like a good idea to plan around an engine so near its end-of-life.” This was already a newer engine intended to succeed the PRV (Peugeot/Renault/Volvo) 2.85 litre V6 that powered the original.

This was in addition to difficulties from the pandemic, either due to original suppliers who no longer produced the necessary componentry, or those who have gone out of business, or ‘champions’ of DeLorean who have since retired or moved on from their places of employment, the company said in its statement.

DeLorean has been considering the switch to an all-electric powertrain for future products, it said in its statement, not least because it “certainly makes for an easier path through emissions maze which still looms large over any internal combustion engine.” An all-electric future is looking more likely for the DeLorean Motor Company.

GALLERY: Stanford University DeLorean MARTY

GALLERY: Queen’s University Belfast DeLorean EV