If you’re driving an old Aston Martin but worry your car won’t pass emissions regulations, you’ll want to see what the British automaker has in store for you in the form of its EV powertrain retrofits.
If your Aston dates from a time where lead was added to petrol, Aston Martin has designed an electric vehicle (EV) powertrain for you, which can be dropped into any classic car to instantly convert it to run on electricity.
Conceived by Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell, the point of the drop-in “cassette” EV powertrain is to work around any future legistation on classic cars by providing a zero-emissions solution.
Aston Martin designed this modular EV powertrain during the final phase development of the Rapide E.
Production versions of the EV cassette will include key components from the Rapide E programme, Aston Martin said in a press statement.
To maintain the “integrity of the original car”, Aston Martin is going a step further by making the entire process reversible, which means if you so wish, you could swap out your freshly-electrified powertrain for the original combustion-engined one.
The first car to receive the EV powertrain makeover is an original 1970 DB6 MkII Volante.
Aston Martin sits the whole EV “cassette” on the original engine and gearbox mountings, which itself is enclosed within a self-contained cell.
Cables from the power unit then get plugged into the car’s electrical systems.
Power management is operated via a dedicated screen, which is “discreetly fitted” in the car’s interior, Aston Martin said.
“We are very aware of the environmental and social pressures that threaten to restrict the use of classic cars in the years to come. Our Second Century Plan not only encompasses our new and future models, but also protects our treasured heritage. I believe this not only makes Aston Martin unique, but a truly forward-thinking leader in this field,” said Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda president and group chief executive officer.
Paul Spires, president Aston Martin Works said: “We have been looking for some time to find a way of protecting our customers’ long-term enjoyment of their cars. 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 centres.
“We also foresee collectors adding another dimension to their collection by commissioning EV-converted heritage cars.”
Aston Martin Works will be responsible for completing customer Heritage EV conversions, expected to commence in 2019. No pricing for the process has been announced.