DeLorean Motor x Cambridge Audio | Back to the Future with a New Product Collaboration

Roads? Where We’re Going…

Written by

Julia Zara

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Doc twiddles a joystick. Seven seconds…an engine revs. Twenty-two seconds…wheels burnout. Sixty-three seconds…the body gears up. Eighty-eight seconds…lights flash and time as we know it bends. This isn’t your standard vehicle. It’s a whipping machine. It’s quantum mechanics. It’s the DeLorean, the Back to the Future car that put DeLorean Motor Company on the map and made physics nerds just a tad bit cooler.  

Where music meets motor, Cambridge Audio becomes the official audio partner of DeLorean Motor Company, a legacy car brand. The partnership was announced with the Cambridge Audio Evo 150 DeLorean Edition, an integrated amplifier and network player. Combining Evo 150’s sleekness with the DeLorean DMC-12’s resplendent detailing, the Cambridge x DeLorean brainchild is both cutting edge and classic. The way I see it, if you're gonna build a network player into a car, why not do it with some style?

Nestled in magnetic side panels and DeLorean-themed panel options, the Cambridge Audio Evo 150 DeLorean Edition reminisces on cars past with an unignorable Back to the Future aesthetic. And just as the film’s Doc Brown demands, “The appropriate question is: When the hell are they?” Cambridge Audio’s James Johnson-Flint says it was only a matter of time before Cambridge and DeLorean intertwined. Cambridge Audio’s identity as not only a maker of network players, but an intimate lover of music and sound elevates DeLorean’s audio output with more controlled bass notes and a wider, immersive soundstage.

Buddying with Cambridge Audio is just one step in DeLorean’s emerging timeline, as the motor company plans to relaunch later this year or early next with a new electric sports car, Alpha5. 

Flaunt spoke with Ged Martin, Cambridge Audio’s head of design, about going back and moving forward.

What surprised you or was not expected when collaborating with the DeLorean brand and legacy?

It was a unique, exciting experience. I grew up watching the Back to the Future movies and so I already had a strong emotional connection to the brand. I guess what surprised me was how easy it was. There are so many elements already present in our Evo range that fitted really well with the DeLorean aesthetic. I was very conscious that there are tons of DeLorean enthusiasts out there and I wanted to be sure I could do the collaboration justice—hopefully we achieved that!

Automotive and audio have long been bosom buddies, but you pushed those typical synergies with this particular product. How has your approach to audio hardware improved after the DeLorean collaboration?

I think it has helped us to establish that our brand and heritage works really well in the automotive industry, particularly for motoring brands that share a rich history. It’s reinforced the value for us in emphasizing the emotional and tactile connection people have with their products. People can form strong emotional bonds with brands and objects when enough care goes into their design.

Nostalgia and nostalgic product creation seem to truly be enjoying a moment. How do you relate to nostalgia when it comes to product ideation and messaging?

We have to get the balance right between leaning into nostalgia and our heritage, while also ensuring that our products are timeless and innovative. It’s important to reinforce that emotional connection but also not to strive too far to make needlessly “retro” products.

What are you nostalgic for in your personal life?

I’m nostalgic for the films and the music of my childhood (born mid ‘80s), along with the tactile physical interfaces you’d find on technology of that era.

Having completed this collaboration, are there now new goals to bridge industries in similar ways? In what other sectors might you like to push Cambridge?

Potentially. It worked so well with DeLorean largely as the brands and history are so well suited. I think we would always be interested in working with other brands and industries that share similar values of tapping into the best of the past without taking eyes off the needs of the future.

How do you work to continually find inspiration in your role at Cambridge?

I have been working in-house as a designer at Cambridge for a fair while now, so it’s really important that I maintain links and interact with people and products outside of our space. I do this by attending design shows and exhibitions regularly, and maintain a network of design contacts to help me keep in the loop. It’s just a case of continuous learning, observing trends and engaging with creative communities as often as I can. We also try our best to listen to customer feedback, as it allows us fresh perspectives whenever possible.

Do you have a favorite line from Back to the Future?

Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

What's next?

We have some really interesting products coming out over the next few months, branching into some new categories. But generally our goal is to continue creating products that delight our customers and that live long and happy lives in people’s homes.

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Flaunt Magazine, DeLorean Motor Company, Cambridge Audio, Cambridge Audio Evo 150 DeLorean Edition, Back to the Future, Music, Julia Zara