Suppose you've got a classic old car that no longer meets emissions laws. You could swap in an eco-friendly new engine, although that would make the vehicle less "authentic." Aston Martin Works is now offering an alternative, in the form of an electric conversion that can be undone if desired.

Known as the Heritage EV conversion, the system incorporates technology developed for Aston Martin's Rapide E electric car. At the heart of that system's powertrain is an enclosed "cassette" containing motors and a battery pack, that's mounted on the original engine and gearbox mountings. Umbilical cords run from it to the car's electrical systems, with power management being controlled via a screen in the car's cabin.

No performance specs are available just yet. In any case, should owners decide later on that they'd like to go back to their gas-guzzling ways, the cassette and associated hardware can simply be disconnected and removed, and the original engine reinstalled.

The first car to receive the Heritage EV treatment is an original-condition 1970 Aston Martin DB6 MkII Volante. Plans are now underway to commercially manufacture the kit for use in a range of other vintage Aston Martin cars, with customer conversions expected to begin next year.

"We have been looking for some time to find a way of protecting our customers' long-term enjoyment of their cars," says Aston Martin Works president Paul Spires. "Driving a classic Aston Martin on pure EV power is a unique experience and one that will no doubt be extremely attractive to many owners, especially those who live in city centers."

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