Aston Martin is looking at turning their classic cars in electric vehicles thanks to a new powertrain conversion.
Unfortunately, classic cars are part of the problem. Their old, tired, inefficient engines are just spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at a rate that is quite simply unsustainable. So far, antique vehicles have been shielded from emissions regulations, but Aston Martin knows that probably won’t be the case for very much longer.
The question then becomes, how do we still offer classic-looking cars to people who want them without killing the planet?
The answer: replace those tired old engines with electric power units. What better way to rid the world of polluting antique car engines than by replacing them with electric powertrains?
Electrifying old cars isn’t entirely Aston Martin’s idea: Jaguar did it first when they gave Prince Harry and Meghan Markle an electrified E-Type at their wedding last May. But Aston Martin has taken the idea a step further by making the electric powertrain entirely modular. It replaces the engine, but not the transmission or the car’s original electrical harness. This means you can swap the electric powertrain in and out at your leisure.
But why would you want to go back to polluting when you could be driving a completely green classic Aston?
Their concept car is a 1970 DB6 MkII Volante using technology pioneered in Aston’s upcoming Rapide E electric supercar and their Lagonda line of electric vehicles. They call the power unit a “cassette” that replaces the engine and easily hooks up to the rest of the car’s systems. A new battery meter replaces the fuel gauge in the interior but still looks like an old-timey fuel gauge so as not to ruin the effect.
Aston didn’t tell us anything about how the conversion performs, which is slightly worrisome, but we’re thinking the type of guy who wants to keep driving a classic Aston won’t be too concerned with a few lost mph on their top end.
And if you really want to, you can swap in the original engine whenever you want. Like when we manage to save the planet from the impending climate apocalypse. That'd be nice.