Aston Martin will take your old car and turn it into a factory-built EV with a zero-emissions plug-and-play powertrain developed in-house – your first question is probably, “Um, why?”
In an effort to keep the old ones running, Aston Martin has developed a solution to put an end to water and oil leaks once and for all – simply take your old Aston to Newport Pagnell where it was originally built, and the fine folk will throw out the internal combustion engine and transmission and replace the lot with an electric drivetrain.
Jaguar got there first with the electric E-Type, and it seems this is becoming a trend now as a viable means to dodge various bans and taxes facing traditional motorists. Aston Martin has already turned a 1970 DB6 MkII Volante into a zero-zero-emissions EV, by ditching the 4.0-litre straight-six engine that one developed more than 280 horsepower. Instead of that filthy thing, you get a future-proof ‘cassette’ powertrain, so termed by Aston Martin because it just slots in.
With interest in classic cars at an all-time high (earlier this year the brand opened a heritage dealership in the middle of London), Aston Martin is using knowledge acquired from the final phase of Rapide E development, and the electric cassette drops onto the original engine and gearbox mountings. The driver gets to manage the whole thing with a display mounted inside, which you can’t even tell has been added in there. Even the fuel gauge is left intact, and the rev-counter, as well as the original gear shifter.
Aston Martin Works boss Paul Spires reckons plenty of people will be interested in the conversion and the company will start offering the all-electric option to classic Aston owners from next year.
“We have been looking for some time to find a way of protecting our customers’ long-term enjoyment of their cars,” says 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.”
If you prefer the sound of silence to the sound of triple Weber carbs and a straight six, then you know who to turn to. Just bring enough cash, because whenever Aston Martin starts fooling with old cars it never ends up cheap.