Classic cars will still play an important role in the future.
Many people say they would never buy a new electric car because it lacks the soul and passion of a classic. While a Tesla is certainly cool, we certainly wouldn't argue its virtues against a vintage beauty like a Jaguar E-Type. In recent years, however, we've witnessed the creation of the E-Type Zero, which blends the stunning looks of an original Jaguar E-Type with the speed and reliability of a modern electric drivetrain.
Jag's attempt at an electrified classic car was certainly beautiful and now Aston Martin has revealed its Heritage EV Concept: the beauty of a classic Aston with the reliability of a modern electric drivetrain.
The concept is based on an original 1970 DB6 MkII Volante, which comes equipped with Aston's new reversible EV powertrain. It was built by Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell as an attempt to future-proof classic cars. The UK will ban the sale of all gas and diesel engine cars by 2040 and eventually, gas-engine classic cars may no longer be allowed to drive into city centers.
Aston has developed this new EV conversion using what it has learned from the development of the upcoming Rapide E. All of the batteries and electric motors are part of what Aston calls a “cassette” EV powertrain, which is completely contained and sits on the original engine and transmission mountings. Umbilical cords lead from the power unit to feed the car's electrical systems and everything is controlled via a discretely mounted screen on the interior.
Owners will have complete peace of mind knowing their car is future-proof and socially responsible but can be converted back to stock at any time. Turning a classic car into an EV has been accomplished before but making sure it can be converted back to its original specifications may be a world first.
“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 centers. We also foresee collectors adding another dimension to their collection by commissioning EV-converted heritage cars," said Paul Spires, President Aston Martin Works.
Aston Martin is a bit mum on details regarding price, though we doubt the conversion will come cheap. We also don't have any details about performance, though we would guess the electric drivetrain offers similar or improved performance over the original engine. This DB6 Volante was meant to be a proof of concept, with Aston Martin Works to commence EV conversions for customers starting in 2019.