Cast your mind back to the long hot summer of 2018, and that classic Royal Wedding Jaguar with a twist.
The Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero looked like a classic E-Type, but had an all-electric powertrain under the bonnet; a great idea with the intention of future-proofing the classic Jaguar.
Aston Martin has a few classics worth preserving too of course, and the company has announced it’s very own reversible EV powertrain. In tandem with the development of Aston Martin’s Rapide E all-electric in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, Aston’s Works division at Newport Pagnell has also been developing their own electric ideas as part of Aston Martin’s worldwide EV strategy. With the increasing rarity of classic cars on our roads, could this be the answer that many classic car owners have been looking for?
Here, this 1970 MkII DB6 Volante has its electric powertrain sitting directly on the existing engine and gearbox mounts, so it is effectively a drop-in replacement – and a drop-out, as this zero emission conversion is entirely reversible should the owner miss the roar of a straight six. The conversion includes a monitor screen on the dashboard for keeping an eye of the DB6’s battery charge.
Andy Palmer is Aston Martin’s Group Chief Executive Officer, he says that the company are very aware of the potential future restrictions that classic cars are likely to face, and they hope that this will help to protect the company’s heritage vehicles. The plan is to roll out the Aston Martin Works programme allowing classic car owners to get their vehicle converted sometime in 2019.
I think this is a great idea, though perusing some comments on forums a few people have suggested that it may have been a better idea not to tamper with an original classic, but to offer up an EV version separately as a new ‘replica’ model (much in the same way that Vespa and Triumph do I guess). Though this is not just about the look of the car – it’s the history, and as a friend once said to me as I considered a replica Porsche 356 body kit made out of fibreglass for a Beetle chassis: “It might look the same but deep down you’d know it just wasn’t the same as real thing…”
It is clear something needs to be done as emission controls across the world continue to tighten and threaten the existence of the classic car on our roads. This could help your precious classic become green and immune to new anti-pollution rules.