Project leader Dr David Laverty said they wanted to modify a car into an electric vehicle, "but we wanted to do it in style".

"The DeLorean was the obvious choice because of its strong connection to Belfast and its starring role in the Back to the Future movies," he said.

When the original DeLorean factory closed in 1982, fewer than 9,000 cars were produced there.

It's thought that fewer than 6,000 of them are still in existence, and Dr Laverty said they managed to get their hands on one in January 2014, although it was in a poor state of repair at the time.

"I'm a child of the 1980s and the car represents everything about the enthusiasm for engineering and the future," he said.

"Really what we're trying to do is inspire young people to consider careers in electrical engineering and the potential that offers."

While in the Back to the Future movies, the car had to reach 88mph in order to time-travel, this modified car's would have no problem getting up to that speed, even if the rest of Doc Brown's technology is still a long way off.

"We are using the original drivetrain from the DeLorean, including its Renault gearbox, which our students have modified so that it is driven by a 270 horsepower electric motor, giving a top speed of 120 miles per hour," said Dr Laverty.

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