As­ton Martin to of­fer elec­tric en­gines to clas­sic car owners

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - MOTORING - JACK MCKE­OWN MO­TOR­ING ED­I­TOR jm­ck­e­[email protected]­

Bri­tish sports car maker As­ton Martin has an ex­cit­ing – and con­tro­ver­sial – of­fer for owners of its clas­sic mod­els.

The com­pany has de­vel­oped an elec­tric pow­er­train that can be fit­ted to older As­tons.

Con­ceived as part of the com­pany’s wider elec­tric ve­hi­cle (EV) strat­egy, the her­itage elec­tri­fi­ca­tion con­cept has been led by As­ton Martin Works at New­port Pag­nell.

De­vel­oped around a so-called “cas­sette” EV pow­er­train, the ob­jec­tive is to mit­i­gate any fu­ture leg­is­la­tion to re­strict the use of clas­sic cars by of­fer­ing a zero-emis­sions con­ver­sion.

The sys­tem, says the brand, is to mit­i­gate against the po­ten­tial in­tro­duc­tion of any fu­ture leg­is­la­tion which may re­strict the use of older, more pol­lut­ing com­bus­tion-en­gined cars.

Should owners de­cide they want to put the orig­i­nal en­gine back in, that’s easy to do – As­ton Martin has de­signed the process to be en­tirely re­versible.

The first car, a DB6 Volante, has al­ready been com­pleted as a proof-of­con­cept and As­ton Martin Works in New­port Pag­nell will be­gin con­vert­ing cus­tomer cars from next year.

Un­der-bon­net changes aside, the only su­per­fi­cial al­ter­ation is the ad­di­tion of a screen which, ac­cord­ing to As­ton Martin, is “dis­creetly” fit­ted into the car’s cabin in or­der to mon­i­tor and control power man­age­ment func­tions.

As­ton Martin hasn’t yet re­vealed the range of her­itage EVs or con­ver­sion cost.

Andy Palmer, As­ton Martin Lagonda pres­i­dent, said: “We are very aware of the en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial pres­sures that threaten to re­strict the use of clas­sic cars in the years to come.

“I be­lieve this not only makes As­ton Martin unique, but a truly for­ward­think­ing leader in this field.”

Pres­i­dent of As­ton Martin Works Paul Spires added: 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.”

Pic­ture: Max Earey.

An As­ton Martin DB6 Volante EV be­ing charged.

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