Opel Automobile GmbH has resurrected their Manta A from the 70s in a tech-laden avatar equipped with an all-electric powertrain. Dubbed Manta GSe Elektromod, the reincarnation is a showcase of Opel’s “commitment to emissions-free mobility for a very desirable, sustainable future.”
The Elektromod is a one-off project that is not available for sale, but the ‘GSe’ badge could stay, embellishing the fenders of future sporty EVs from the German brand. And there’s a long history to the GS moniker that goes deeper than the Monza GSE concept presented at IAA 2013.
Grand Sport injection (GSi): Opel’s passion for a car
GSi – Opel’s abbreviation for “Grand Sport injection” (formerly GT/E) stood for particularly sporty models with the lightning flash logo since the 1980s, aimed at passionate drivers. The Kadett E GSi and Manta GSi were joined in 1988 by what many considered the real athlete of the small car category, the Opel Corsa GSi. Some felt that Corsa GSi was dynamic as a motorcycle: compact, just 820 kg light, sporty wheel-arches, sports seats, 100 hp engine output, and a top speed of 188 km/h.
In line with the modern underpinnings, the Opel Manta has been updated aesthetically. With this, the sports coupe is now up to date with the carmaker’s latest models whilst still maintaining its heritage. The front-end now wears an iteration of Opel’s ‘Vizor’ grille and even features an LED screen that can display messages. The conventional lights have made way for LED units that look sharper.
The neon yellow paint is contrasted by a black hood, while the 13-inch rims available on the original car have been swapped with Ronal 17-inch mag wheels. These alloy wheels are shod with 195/40 tires at the front and 205/40-spec rubber at the rear. The chrome bumpers have been done away to replicate the sportier appearance of souped-up Manta models from tuners like Irmscher. The trunk lid carries ‘Manta’ lettering in Opel’s latest font style.
Opel Manta GSe Interior
The Manta has a slightly updated cabin with retro cues to establish a visual connection with the exterior. The analog dials have been replaced with a 12-inch digital display, while the dashboard even carries another 10-inch display for the touchscreen infotainment unit. The EV offers sports seats originally made for the Adam S, while the yellow accents complement the exterior paintwork. The three-spoke steering wheel, the manual e-brake, and the period-correct gear lever hark back original design.
Of course, the biggest update is found under the hood. The four-cylinder engine has been swapped for an electric motor that outputs 147 hp/108 kW & 255 Nm. The motor draws juice from a 31 kWh battery pack that offers a claimed range of 124 miles. The battery can be replenished through a 9.0 kW inbuilt charger in four hours, while the regenerative braking helps optimize the driving range.
Unlike almost every EV in series production, the Manta comes with a manual gearbox that sends power to the rear axle. The driver can either shift gears manually using the 4-speed unit or slot in the fourth gear and let the transmission shift automatically.
Revealed in May 2021, the Manta GSe Elektromod is simply a showcase of the German automaker’s EV capabilities. Opel has no plans of putting the Manta GSe into production.