- Aston Martin’s own Works division created an electric DB6 Volante a few years ago, and now another British company—Lunaz—will be converting DB4, DB5, and DB6 models to electricity.
- You may be stirred by the price, which is expected to exceed $1 million to completely restore the Aston and then add the powertrain.
- What price beauty, though? The first customers will get these starting in late 2023.
This isn’t the first time we’ve told you about an electric conversion of one of Aston Martin’s classic DB models, and it may not be the last. Three years ago, Aston’s own Works classic division created a DB6 Volante with its six-cylinder engine replaced by a modular battery pack that powered a motor connected to the original gearbox. This was, we were told, to gauge demand for a factory sanctioned conversion, the lack of a production version suggesting this was lacking.
But now another British company is planning to offer what seems to be a very similar car. Lunaz, which already offers electrified versions of various other classics, has said it will be offering an EV conversion for the DB4, DB5 and DB6, meaning that James Bond really could migrate himself to an EV.
Doing so would come with a substantial price tag, of course: even a rough DB5 is most of the way to a seven-figure valuation these days, with Lunaz’s heart transplant adding substantially to the “on application” price. The company is prepared to give more detail on pricing when it comes to the cheaper DB6, reckoning the conversion will “exceed $1 million plus local taxes,” with that including a bare-metal restoration as well as the new powertrain itself. They have also released images of a plug-wearing DB6 which makes the point this is a spectacularly good-looking car, regardless of the fuel it runs on.
Lunaz’s official release is short on technical details, but we can presume the electro-DBs will share much with the company’s earlier conversions. These use a bespoke powertrain which, in the Jaguar XK150, features a pair of motors giving a combined output of 375 horsepower to the rear axle. The XK150 uses an 80.o-kWh battery, while the larger Rolls-Royce Phantom V conversion has 120.0 kWh from twin packs, one under the hood and the other beneath the trunk floor. Given the limited spare space on a DB Aston, the use of the single pack seems more likely; Aston Works’ putative conversion used a battery almost exactly the same size and weight as the original engine. Lunaz’s car will support fast charging through a Type 2 CCS socket.
Lunaz also promises “uprating [sic] of brakes, suspension, and steering, while interior comfort and convenience is brought up to modern standards through the provision of air conditioning and the sensitive integration of latest infotainment, navigation systems, and full Wi-Fi connectivity.”
The biggest question with any such conversion is existential: does it really deserve to exist? Lunaz says it will carefully remove the existing engine so that owners can keep them against a future change of heart, but it is very hard to imagine a world in which the near silence of an electric motor will feel like a better soundtrack to a classic Aston than that provided by its DBR2 six-cylinder, wuffling through triple carburetors.
The environmental benefits of performing such radical and expensive surgery can also be questioned. The gentle duty cycle of a typical DB Aston would seem to make it unlikely that the energy and carbon costs of an electric conversion would ever be repaid in terms of reduced tailpipe emissions. As with cars like the Everrati Porsche 911 we drove earlier this year, the Lunaz seems to be aimed at a far distant future when combustion engines are either banned or become impossible to keep running.
Lunaz says the first deliveries of electric DB models will take place in the third quarter of 2023.
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