Exotic Technology

There are several aspects of the cars design and construction that are fairly advanced.

The cryogenically manufactured torion bars that counterbalance the doors were developed and manufactured by Grumman Aerospace. Their function is taken for granted by DeLorean owners but the design and function is very elegant.

Previous gullwing cars struggled with counterbalancing the gullwing doors. The Mercedes sports coupe tackled the problem by making the doors very light. For structural reasons, the door sills on the Mercedes therefore had to be very substantial and the sills are quite high. The Bricklin approached the problem by using pneumatically operated struts that would raise the doors using compressed air stored in its rear bumper. The doors would get pumped up at the press of a button. This approach was often slow and cumbersome. The DeLorean torsion bar counterbalances the door by storing torsional energy (in a way similar to how a spring stores energy when compressed). The cryogenic manufacturing process was necessary in order to strengthed the torsion bar for repeated operation without the bar fatiguing or breaking. In a process that I do not understand well, the crystalline structure of the material was modified in the process so that the "grain" in the material would run through the bar in an optimal way. If you examine a DeLorean torion bar you will see that it is twisted along its axis several times over its short distance. I have never heard of a torsion bar breaking under normal use, although I have heard of people over doing the pre-tension in the bar and twisting the roofs of their cars.

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