Aston Martin develops ‘first reversible’ EV system to protect vintage vehicles

Aston Martin develops ‘first reversible’ EV system to protect vintage vehicles

‘Cassette' electric powertrain, showcased in 1970 DB6 MkII Volante, to be available in 2019

To mitigate any future restrictions on the use of classic cars, Aston Martin plans to future-proof such vehicles with what it terms “the world’s first reversible EV powertrain conversion.”

First to be equipped with the new “cassette” electric powertrain is a 1970 DB6 MkII Volante, the company said.

“Sitting on the original engine and gearbox mountings, the cassette is enclosed within its own self-contained cell,” Aston Martin said in its announcement. “Umbilical cords from the power unit then feed the car’s electrical systems. Power management is operated via a dedicated screen, which is discreetly fitted to the car’s interior.

“Given the historical significance of these collectors cars it’s vital any EV conversion is sympathetic to the integrity of the original car,” the company explained. “The cassette system offers the perfect solution, offering owners the reassurance of knowing their car is future-proofed and socially responsible, yet still an authentic Aston Martin with the ability to reinstate its original powertrain if desired.”

Aston Martin says its EV system will allow vintage vehicles to remain on roads should legislation restrict petrol-powered vehicles, and the original engines can be re-installed should a car owner so desire

“We are very aware of the environmental and social pressures that threaten to restrict the use of classic cars in the years to come,” Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda president and chief executive, was quoted in the company’s news release. “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.”

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Aston Martin said the Heritage EV solution is part of its wider electrification effort that includes the development by Aston Martin Works of the Rapide E and an all-new range of electric-powered Lagondas.

“Production versions of the revolutionary EV cassette will include key components from the Rapide E program,” the company said.

“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 centers. We also foresee collectors adding another dimension to their collection by commissioning EV-converted heritage cars.”

The company expects to begin offering conversions to customers in 2019.

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  • James McIntire
    December 7, 2018, 9:43 AM

    I like the idea in that it is designed from the outset to preserve and protect the originality of the car. The electric powertrain would then be an addition to; not a replacement of the original, gasoline-powered drivetrain. I would like to see something of this nature come available to the mass market, available for all vehicles.

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