Like English Jaguar Land Rover is doing for its legacy model range by converting older Jag and Rover gasoline classic cars and trucks into battery electric vehicles, Aston Martin, the storied but now Welsh motor company is converting not only its legacy vehicles into electric but it’s also offering this service to other classic cars. Doing this not only expands business into the lucrative after parts classic car industry but locks up Aston’s legacy well into the electric future with a model range from the past:
- Aston Martin will begin offering Heritage EV conversions for their cars and others in 2019.
- The service will be available for customers around the same time customers who ordered the Rapide-e take delivery in 4Q 2019.
- The same components used in electrification of Rapide-e will also be used in the classic cars, called a “cassette EV powertrain,” which was developed as a collaboration between AM and several experts in the field.
- All this data and experience will help Aston as they turn over this responsibility to their new all electric division with the storied ad historic Lagonda brand.
- Heritage EV and Lagonda will be Aston’s go-to people when it comes to anything electrified.
- The Aston brand will try to ride out the century as long as it can as the gasoline division.
- Only 155 Rapide-e’s are planned to be made.
- Moving forward anything electric and new will be a Lagonda. Anything gas is an Aston.
- Anything Lagonda or Aston and old to be electrified will be done by Aston EV Heritage.
Rapide-e Stats for the EV Heritage Vehicles:
- 800 Volt 65 kW battery pack.
- “Over” 200 miles range.
- 0-60 sub 4.
- Top speed 155
- “Cassette” system “slides” into original spot where engine mountings and gearbox once was.
- A screen is fitting to the dash but everything else is serious traditional Aston business.
- Available late 2019.
For my work up on the Rapide-e go here to that feature story:
Some may say that changing any of the drivetrain components to something not OEM is a sin no different than destroying the car itself, but as we go along into the 21st century to get a better picture as to how much damage we’ve done to the planet, I predict the only option we’ll have of seeing any of these classic gems surviving any kind of road worthiness possibilities other than being stuck in museums, is by nothing less than having a zero tolerance attitude against their present gas use on future roads, and having more toward the electrification of them.
Aston seems to anticipate this as many other European legacy brands have, and this seems to be their response. “Given the historical significance of these collectors cars it’s vital any EV conversion is sympathetic to the integrity of the original car,” the company wrote in a press release. “The cassette system offers the perfect solution, offering owners the reassurance of knowing their car is future-proofed and socially responsible, yet still an authentic Aston Martin with the ability to reinstate its original powertrain if desired.”
Aston’s first guinea pig was a 1970 DB6 MkII Volante drophead roadster, white on red. According to Aston who supplied these pictures, the car looks to be spot-on restored, with the only 21st century imposing upgrade being a screen on the dash, a UI necessity if seriously negotiating an electric car, especially for long distance driving.
As the EU and the UK separately begin to ban not only new purchase gasoline fueled vehicles by 2040, many jurisdictions around the world, and even some local governments and countries within the European community are taking it upon themselves to even go to extremes of banning things like PHEVs as well, and even prohibit the use of gas and diesel cars currently in existence within their borders.
This wave will come to the new world, let’s not fool ourselves. As we like to separate ourselves from the old world with such oft insulting soundbites like “European socialism,” we too may, or will not have any choice in the matter as our western forests incinerate to ash, but to take those steps our old world cousins are taking to adopt those measures as well to ban gasoline use only when absolutely necessary. And that might mean for military and public safety, possibly in an apocalyptic emergency, only. Electrifying our rolling history seems the right choice to preserve those precious pieces, and yes, to do it for our posterity.
All photos courtesy Aston Martin Media
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