Opel is going back to the future by reviving the spirit of the original Manta for a restomod that does away with the combustion engine altogether. Before you get too excited, the Rüsselsheim-based automaker isn't saying anything about turning the restomod into a production model. Given today's stringent safety regulations, it would be extremely hard and costly to adapt a 1970s body to meet current legislation.
Known by its full name as the Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD, the restomod largely retains the design of its ancestor, but now with LED headlights serving as a nod to the company's latest Vizor front-end design language. The look has already been applied to the Mokka and Crossland, with the next-generation Astra about to adopt the fresh corporate face as well.
Gallery: Opel Manta
Technical specifications remain shrouded in mystery for the time being, but with Opel looking to pay tribute to the original Manta, we're expecting the electric motor to drive the rear wheels. It's not going to be the German automaker's first stab at an electric sports coupe as the Elektro-GT (pictured below) from 50 years ago was an early attempt at a performance car that eschewed the ICE.
The Manta restomod's "Elektro" suffix is inspired by Opel's first electric car, which hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in a decent six seconds thanks to a pair of electric motors – each producing 118 horsepower. A nickel-cadmium battery offered 27 miles (44 kilometers) of range, but only when the Elektro-GT was being driven at a constant speed of 62 mph (100 km/h). The one-off Elektro-GT went on to set no fewer than six speed records for EVs in May 1971.
Looking ahead, the company will electrify every single model between now and 2024. The EV push has already started with the Corsa-e, Combo-e, Zafira-e, and Vivaro-e, along with plug-in hybrids. Now sitting under the Stellantis umbrella, Opel is expected to unveil the Manta GSe ElektroMOD in the coming weeks.
Speaking of Stellantis, another one of its many brands – Peugeot – took a somewhat similar approach as Opel by developing the stunning e-Legend. Introduced in October 2018, the concept was a modern-day EV equivalent of the Pininfarina-designed 504 Coupe.