Aston Martin debut reversible EV concept for classics
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Aston Martin has premiered its bold new vision to future-proof 'increasingly precious' and valuable classic cars, creating the world's first reversible EV powertrain conversion.
As part of the company’s wider EV strategy, the Heritage electrification concept was led by Aston Martin Works and developed around a so-called “cassette” EV powertrain. The project hopes to mitigate any future legislation that could restrict classic cars use in the future by offering a zero emissions conversion.
Using knowledge acquired by Aston Martin during the final phase development of the Rapide E - the company's first series production electric vehicle - the Aston Martin Works’ Heritage EV conversion production cars will of will include key components from the Rapide E programme.
The first car to receive the radical new EV powertrain is an original 1970 DB6 MkII Volante, which would have been originally hand-built at the same plant where conversions will take place.
Sitting on the original engine and gearbox mountings, the cassette is enclosed within its own self-contained cell which then feed energy to 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. Aston Martin say 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 reinstall its original powertrain.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer, said of the Heritage EV concept: “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.”
Paul Spires, President Aston Martin Works commented: “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.
Having handled the initial concept evaluation and build of the proof-of-concept DB6 Volante, Aston Martin Works will also be responsible for completing customer Heritage EV conversions, which are expected to commence in 2019.
Aston Martin say the Heritage EV programme ensures the company's past creations also has a sustainable, bright and exciting future.
Earlier this year Jaguar Classic confirmed the launch of a similar program in 2020 that will offer the iconic E-Type with all electric powertrain, with prodtiction expected to begin in 2020.