DeLorean's new electric car unveiled with wristband for virtual hugs, potential lie detection

The new gull-winged DeLorean
It also lets you use body temperature to control heat in the car. Photo credit: Supplied / DeLorean

Not content with trying to reintroduce the world to a reimagined version of the iconic car from Back to the Future, DeLorean is also giving the ride a unique twist.

Nope, you're not going to take a trip back to your childhood and have your mum fall in love with your younger version once it hits 88mph - but you might get a hug from your present day mum instead.

That's because the company has revealed a new feature called the DeLorean Sense, a wristband that adds functionality to the car.

Is it something super useful, like keyless entry to the car? Or hazard warnings? Apparently not. Instead, anyone wearing one can give the driver a 'hug', delivered by the seat bolsters - which sounds both weird and a little unsafe. Here's hoping it's less than 1.21 Gigwatts of a hug.

The Alpha5, a prototype electric vehicle unveiled by the company for the first time on the Concept Lawn at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance last week, will also be able to display the wearer's heartbeat on the console screen.

And if that's not enough, the wearer's body temperature can be used to set the internal temperature of the car.

Magazine Esquire suggested the heartbeat functionality could even be used as a lie detector.

"Being that there's now back seats in the Alpha5 to take the kids to school, imagine driving them home, asking how their exam went today, only for them to say 'it went really well'," Alex Bridle wrote.

"However, you notice the DeLorean Sense wristband detected a heart rate spike to indicate that they're lying."

The car will also be able to indicate when your friends are nearby. As you drive, the live map screen will show the location of those in your contacts list.

This is perfect for misanthropes like me, so you can quickly think of an excuse NOT to stop in and visit them.

Two narrow LEDs are also located on the dashboard, in what DeLorean calls a 'True North indicator'. The LEDs will glow when you're near a special place you've nominated. Think home, work, favourite football stadium, 1955 prom night...

The Alpha5 does have one thing in common with the classic DMC-12 - the gullwing doors are present, although substantially larger this time around. They're paired with smoother curves rather than the angular look of the original.

Estimated specifications say the car will go from zero to 100kmh in just under three seconds and will have a top speed of around 250kmh. It's also expecting a range of just under 500km of range from the battery.

The Alpha5 is due for a limited sale in 2024, with no word yet if any will be available in Aotearoa.