First Heritage EV conversions expected to occur in 2019

Aston Martin is developing a reversible electric "cassette" powertrain, allowing its classics to be driven in jurisdictions that outlaw the use of internal combustion engines.

To demonstrate the idea, the company has unveiled a proof-of-concept model using the 1970 DB6 Mark II Volante as its starting point.

According to the sports car maker, the DB6's new all-electric powertrain is housed within a self-contained cassette, which is placed on the original engine and gearbox mountings.

Umbilical cords lead out from the cassette to power the car's electrical systems. A power management screen is discretely fitted to the car's interior.

This setup, the automaker claims, allows for a sympathetic conversion that is not only "socially responsible", but also takes into account the "historical significance" of the car in question. It also means the original drivetrain can be reinstalled, if the owner desires.

Conversion work will be performed by Aston Martin Works, the company's in-house arm dedicated to restoring, selling and maintaining past models produced by the automaker.

Aston Martin says the powertrains for its cassette conversions will use "key components" from the upcoming Rapide E all-electric sedan.

The first classic car conversions will take place in 2019, although the car maker hasn't indicated how much they will cost.