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Aston Martin turns a 1970 DB6 Volante into an EV
Don’t freak out, the powertrain is reversible

Jeff Glucker December 4, 2018 Cars You Should Know 20 Comments

The car in the photo above is a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 MkII Volante. Not a ton of these were built. The Newport Pagnell facility where the car was conceived cranked out just 140 examples. Actually, this specific car is a Vantage spec ride, which means just 29 were produced. And Aston Martin went and removed its engine.

Powering the car above is a setup AM care calling an EV Cassette. Essentially, a battery back and motor have been bolted in the place where the engine normally sits. Thankfully, should the owner so care down the road, this entire process can be reversed and a 4.0-liter straight-6 will once again make glorious noise.

 

That’s not to say this whole electron adventure isn’t intriguing. Quite the contrary, actually. Aston Martin are proving they can keep their classics on the road for decades to come. Since we’re dealing with highly collectible machinery, Aston Martin know they have to be quite sympathetic with regards to the installation of the electric powertrain. We’re not yet sure how the packaging all works, what the power output and range appear to be, or what charging times might look like. But this isn’t going to be a daily driver EV anyway.

This first foray into classics-turned EV serves as a proof of concept for Aston Martin. But with the successful completion of this DB6, Newport Pagnell is ready to take customer orders for similar conversions. The automaker will begin future-proofing its vintage beauty starting in 2019.

  • I’m at a loss for words. I suppose it is one way for enthusiasts to be able to drive their cars in areas that have a ban on IC engined vehicles. But for so many vintage cars the motors are the souls and personalities of the cars. I know that for this Aston Martin its a reversible swap but it still makes me a little sad. Such is the way of progress. Looks like we’ll have to fire the footmen, Cora.

    • outback_ute

      I’m not sure this is even a fad yet, and I’m sceptical that it will develop into one. If you want an EV buy one, if you want a classic car an electric motor spoils it

      • Maymar

        This does sound a lot like what Jag’s done to an E-type (and mentioned that could be done to anything that used an XK I6), and also expressed interest in making it available down the line.

        • outback_ute

          But have they built more than one? Suppose we will have to wait until they start turning up on Bring a Trailer to find out.

        • Rover 1

          That Jaguar ‘E’ Type got some additional fame in use.

      • Agreed. Btw,I might have accidentally down voted you when I tried to reply…big fingers, little phone screen. I think I fixed it. I noticed now you can buy used Priuses with failing batteries cheap and a California company sells a diy battery kit for $1k.

  • Batshitbox

    I’m guessing this is a marketing stunt for the “EV Cassette”. If you have one of 29 Astons ever made, chances are you’re not going to drive it so much you’ll wear the gasoline engine out. And even if every one of those 29 cars ran 24 hours a day for ten years the carbon footprint would be pretty small.

    But you may want to put an EV system in your other Aston and go to the dragstrip. Decades down the road some number matching tweaker is going to have a fit trying to pin down how many miles are on the vehicle if the piston engine was only in there in the summertime.

    #AstonMartinWinternationals

  • Maymar

    I’m generally into it, but couldn’t they dig up some embossing tape for the ignition labels?

  • Lokki

    First a woman as Doctor Who and now this.

    In these supposedly superior modern times we have a Doctor who gives off a scent of perfume and an Aston DB Volante that doesn’t give off a scent of gasoline.

    What happened to the days when Brits were Bulldogs and Beef-Eaters?

    Sigh, just shoot me.

    • Maymar

      It’s also an Aston from a time when someone (presumably a Brit) thought this shirt was a good idea.

  • Call me skeptical, but these photos show nothing except a DB6 with an EV charging cord jammed into its fuel filler neck and a couple of stickers affixed to its dash, without a single shot of anything actually changed. Either Aston Martin is being more than a bit coy in the way they are “revealing” this project or someone’s having a little joke.

    • Jeff Glucker

      I’ve reached out for more specs. Stay tuned.

    • 0A5599

      There are 10 pictures above where you can see pavement under the car. None of those pictures shows any hint of an oil leak.

      It has to be a legit EV.

      • Lokki

        But…. Lucas

        • I assume the reason the exhaust is still present under the DB6 is to handle the electrical smoke.

      • Perhaps, but which is more likely: A British car with an electric motor incapable of leaking oil or a British car with an internal-combusion engine that had already lost all of its oil before the crew could finish prepping for the photo shoot?

      • I_Borgward

        Hm. Next thing you know, the English will try to make televisions again.

  • P161911

    So is the charger powered by a generator hooked to Tadek Marek spinning in his grave?

  • Harold T

    If AM would go through the expense of developing a “Cassette EV” package, would you still leave an exhaust pipe hanging off the back?
    I can’t speak to reliability, but only 140 were built, 29 HO Vantage Volante versions, but for me the convertible would be particularly lacking of that characteristic Straight 6 sound, quintessential to the brand and style….. E-type was a better EV choice.

    • outback_ute

      Well it is ‘only’ a DB6, poor cousin to the DB5