The future of classic cars on public roads is very much up in the air, the same air that is on the receiving end of tailpipe emissions. Aston Martin is set to give owners of its heritage models a zero-emissions option in an attempt to future-proof the company’s vintage drivers.
The first Aston to get this futuristic drivetrain swap is a 1970 DB6 MkII Volante. Aston calls the system a “cassette” EV powertrain, saying it will utilize technology from the Rapide E and new Lagonda programs. The system is designed to bolt to the original motor and gearbox mounts, ensuring the original powertrain can be re-installed with minimal fuss.
The package is said to be one self-contained cell, powering the drivetrain and also the car’s accessories. With no mention of a separate battery pack, we are left in the dark as to the range capability of these conversions seeing how the unit will be no larger than the engine and transmission it is replacing.
“We have been looking for some time to find a way of protecting our customers’ long-term enjoyment of their cars,” says Paul Spires, president of Aston Martin Works. “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 ability to enjoy vintage cars is something none of us wants to lose, and an option by which vintage cars are able to adhere to strict emissions guidelines with reversible changes is a good thing. Though it is a race car, Chevrolet’s E-COPO Camaro has an electric powerplant that bolts into the existing small-block V-8 mounts, a design similar to Aston’s. Jaguar has also been moving in a similar direction with its electric E-type Zero concept and electric conversions from its Classic Works division. Will the future be fully electric? Maybe not, but it sure is fun to have options.