At first glance, you’d not think that this 1970 DB6 MkII Volante was anything other than a standard – albeit seemingly pampered – Aston Martin.
And that’s the point, because beneath its well-polished lines lies what its maker claims to be the world’s first reversible electric vehicle (EV) powertrain conversion.
Aston Martin certainly isn’t the first to bring alternative powertrains to much-loved classics – think Jaguar’s electric E-type and projects such as the electric MGB by RBW Classic Electric Cars. So how does it differ?
The Aston Martin Works’ Heritage EV conversion borrows ideas and state-of-the-art know-how from the Aston Martin Rapide E project and from the forthcoming, all-new Lagonda line-up.
Designed with the aim of keeping classic cars on the road, even if future legislation rules to restrict the use of such vehicles, this zero-emission conversion makes use of what it describes as a ‘cassette’ EV powertrain.
Self contained it is own cell, this cassette sits on the DB6’s original engine and gearbox mountings, and feeds power to the car’s electrical systems.
Other than under the bonnet, you’ll notice a slight change from standard in the cabin, due to the addition of a screen for the purposes of power management.
Aston Martin is keen to underline that this is a sympathetic conversion that’s true to the company’s values, adding that it is ‘offering owners the reassurance of knowing their car is future-proofed and socially responsible’.
Known as Heritage EV conversions, it’s expected that the first of them will be carried out next year, with the work taking place at Aston Martin Works.
“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 Chief Executive Officer.
“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.”
“We have been looking for some time to find a way of protecting our customers’ long-term enjoyment of their cars,” added Paul Spires, President 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 centres. We also foresee collectors adding another dimension to their collection by commissioning EV-converted heritage cars.”