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Aston Martin electric powertrain revealed for classic models

A converted 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Volante will be the first car to get the brand’s reversible electric powertrain

Aston Martin has created a new reversible electric powertrain system for its classic models. The system, says the British brand, is to mitigate against the potential introduction of any future legislation which might restrict the use of older, more polluting combustion-engined cars.

The electric powertrain makes use of componentry and know-how from the Rapide E programme, and is available in the form of a “cassette” EV powertrain, which takes the place of the conventional engine.

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The first car to display the tech will be a converted 1970 DB6 Mk2 Volante. The electric powertrain sits under the bonnet on the original engine and gearbox mounting points, while cables feed off the power unit to give charge to the original electrical systems.

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.

The new system will allow classic Aston owners to use the zero emissions powertrain in areas where combustion engines might be banned in future, yet re-fit the original unit when and where such restrictions are not in place.

Speaking about the new tech, Aston Martin Lagonda President Andy Palmer 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.

“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.”

EV conversions of customer models are expected to start in 2019.

Do you think a reversible EV powertrain is a good idea? Let us know your thoughts below...

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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