Aston Martin to electrify its classic cars

Aston's EV conversion preserves heritage (and the planet)

This "cassette" powertrain does, however, include a power management screen fitted into the interior for easy viewing of charge levels.

Electric conversions for classic cars are becoming more and more common, with the surgery relatively easy to complete. But if, say, tomorrow we completely run out of crude oil and there is no gasoline left for anyone ever again, these classic Aston Martins will still be able to run. It proved so popular that Jaguar in August confirmed production plans for the conversion, which like Aston Martin's setup is fully reversible.

Well, now Aston Martin is in on the action, today unveiling a pristine 1970 DB6 Mk2 Volante with the company's first reversible electric drivetrain. Developed around a so-called "cassette" EV powertrain, the aim is to future-proof the firm's classic cars in the event of any legislation restricting their use.

"Sitting on the original engine and gearbox mountings, the cassette is enclosed within its own self-contained cell", Aston Martin said in its announcement.

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This is a pretty big step for the world of classic vehicle electric conversions, with customers now able to go to Aston Martin itself to ensure their car's history is preserved post-conversion.

Drawing upon the company's knowledge gained from the Rapide E and upcoming Lagonda models, Aston Martin Works developed what it calls a "cassette" EV powertrain that can be integrated seamlessly into classic models, and is "sympathetic to the integrity of the original vehicle".

Umbilical cords lead out from the cassette to power the car's electrical systems.

"We are very aware of the environmental and social pressures that threaten to restrict the use of classic cars in the years to come", said Aston Martin head Andy Palmer. Driving a classic Aston Martin on pure EV power is a unique experience and one that will no doubt be extremely attractive to many owners, especially those who live in city centers. The original powertrain can be added back in after conversion if desired. The program is expected to start in 2019 under the Heritage EV banner.

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