With many automakers pledging more electric drivetrains in the coming decade, Aston Martin Lagonda is taking a fresh look at electrification, offering EV solutions for its “Heritage” models.
The company says it’s an integral part of its EV strategy, claiming it’s a way of heading off a possible future where classic cars would be unable to be driven due to driving restrictions on vehicles fitted with internal combustion engines.
“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 Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO. “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.”
The technology was developed in the creation of the Rapid E, Aston Martin’s first electric car that is due in 2021. The first recipient of the retro EV fitting is a 1970 DB6 MkII Volante, with the project designated the Heritage EV concept and created by Aston Martin Works.
Aston Martin calls it a reversible “cassette” powertrain conversion, to designate a “plug-and-play” powertrain where the EV power cell fits onto the mounts of the original engine and transmission, and then is connected to all the different electrical components (charge port, power management screen, etc.). By working with the EV Cassette, the company can easily change over the powertrain components in just about any classic Aston Martin. It also allows the owner to reinstall the original powertrain, if so desired.
Conversions at the Works are expected to commence in 2019.
“We have been looking for some time to find a way of protecting our customers’ long-term enjoyment of their cars,” said Aston Martin Works President Paul Spires. “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.”