Future-proofing older cars once meant fitting an in-dash single-disc CD player instead of an 8-track, but Aston Martin is thinking decades ahead to a point in time when liquid gasoline itself could be a bit of a throwback, as the bearded hipsters of the future will brew it in small batches to put into a vintage 2007 Pontiac. The automaker has developed an electric drivetrain for its classic models that could be retrofitted in place of the traditional engine and transmission, in a procedure that the automaker says is reversible. That's right: You'll be able to swap out the engine and transmission in your DB5 or DB6 (if you have one) for a battery and an electric motor system.
We're pretty sure we've seen this sort of thing in the 1997 sci-fi film "Gattaca," where dozens of rare classic cars move around almost silently with a few electrical noises.
You may think, "Well, it's a little early for this sort of thing — gasoline isn't $20 a gallon yet, and it doesn't require some special environmental exemption to put it into a car." At least not yet.
"Developed around a so-called 'cassette' EV powertrain, the objective is to mitigate any future legislation to restrict the use of classic cars by offering a zero emissions conversion," Aston Martin says.
Future legislation is indeed the item that Aston Martin is seeking to future-proof its classic cars against, and this "cassette" system is meant to use the original engine and transmission mounts of the first car for which it was developed, which is a 1970 DB6 MkII Volante converted as a prototype by the factory. This cell is designed to be insulated from the rest of the car, so that it does not require unneeded mechanical alterations, with umbilicals providing power to the car's electrical system, with the whole powertrain controlled by a small screen that is fitted to the interior. The pedals still do all the work, but not the gearbox if your original car features a manual transmission. Overall, this EV "cassette" system is designed to be minimally intrusive when it concerns the original hardware of the car.
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