Opel is planting a flag in zero-emissions motoring, promising today that all of its new vehicles sold in Europe would be electric-only by 2028. Making the announcement during parent company Stellantis’ EV Day livestream, Opel also took the opportunity to tease a new sporty car, the Manta E, which the automaker promised would arrive by the middle of the decade.
Details on the Manta E are scarce, with only a blurry teaser of the coupe from which to speculate. A few years ago, the automaker built a one-off Manta GSe ElektroMOD concept, based on an original sport coupe but updated with a 147-horsepower (108-kilowatt) EV powertrain, five-speed manual, and LED exterior lighting. The Manta E, however, will likely take a more modern form, with a cab-forward appearance, canopy-like passenger cabin, and advanced materials.
The sporty EV coupe will be based on one of Stellantis’ four new electric-only platforms. The subcompact STLA Small architecture that provides up to 300 miles of range is most likely, although the 400-mile STLA Medium platform, which will underpin compact and midsize cars, is a possibility. The 500-mile STLA Large base is too big for the Manta – plan on seeing that on future versions of the Maserati Grecale, Chrysler 300, and Alfa Romeo Stelvio – while STLA Frame will be relegated to hard-working pickups and vans.
Coinciding with the return of the Manta E will be Opel’s promise that all of its vehicles would at least be electrified or hybridized by 2024. That includes vehicles like the hydrogen fuel-cell Vivaro city van, which joins a commercial vehicle lineup that is already fully electrified as of this year. Opel will also invest in EV motorsports, peddling the E-Rally Cup series populated by the 2021 Corsa E.
Opel also announced that it would soon reenter the Chinese market with a fully electric lineup, marking the return of the blitz-and-wheel logo in the region since its withdrawal in 2015. As the largest automotive market in the world, China will be increasingly important to Opel’s success, especially as local regulations are shifting to be more friendly to non-native brands. Its zero-emissions strategy will also be a boon in the country, which is adopting EVs at a faster rate than many markets.