Opel Manta GSe in the test: cult sports car gets electric drive, but remains an oldie


of Stefan Grundhoff am 03.07.2021

Cult car that comes to life: Opel electrifies the Manta A.

Opel / press-informCult car that comes to life: Opel electrifies the Manta A.

The Opel Manta exudes pure nostalgia. Not only the look is reminiscent of the cult classic from the 70s, you also have to switch the electric car manually again. We found out what that feels like on a joyride.

Opel Corsa-e

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No, the Manta will probably no longer be a production model and even with a re-edition of the Monza luxury coupé – re-fueled in a study in 2013 – things are looking bad under Stellantis’ direction. But Opel shows that its heart is still beating in Rüsselsheim and lets fans of the sports car of yore dream – with an electric Manta A.

This color is sharp – in black and yellow, so that you think you can see the company car of a BVB player in front of you. The remarkable body shows the well-known curved curves of the popular sportsman from the 1970s. Once lived with the tuners, the chrome-plated bumpers at the front and rear have disappeared – analog purism of the digital modern age. The digital radiator grille with LED eyes and the digital instrument unit from the Mokka-e provide high-tech charm.

However, while the most powerful version of the Opel Manta A was once on the road with just 77 kW / 105 PS, the electrified one-off piece puts a powerful shovel on top. An electric motor with a powerful 108 kW / 147 PS and 255 Nm torque works under the black painted hood. In addition to the electric motor, which replaces the four-cylinder combustion engine and drives traditionalists to unconsciousness, a battery pack with a comparatively manageable capacity of 31 kWh is hidden in the catacombs of the Opel Manta A. That’s enough for at least 200 kilometers before it goes back to the socket. However, filling up the tank once takes four long hours.

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Now get into the revamped classic and make friends with the leap in time. The excellent sports seats are known from the former Opel Corsa OPC and the three-spoke steering wheel is reminiscent of times when a car was electric, little more than the heated rear window and the lighting system. The digital instruments are stylish to look at – but do not fit into the electrified oldie. Analog clocks would exude a completely different charm here and the digital display in the middle of the dashboard is also a matter of taste. Instead of the flicker image, one would want radio with the look of the 1970s.

Incredulous looks at the roadside

In contrast to normal modern electric cars, the Opel Manta GSe not only offers a manual transmission, but also a clutch pedal. You drive like a normal combustion engine. Engage first gear, release the clutch and off you go – fast and silently at the same time. You quickly get used to the fact that the body creaks slightly on the shattered road surface of the company premises and the steering is stiff as it was in the 1970s. With its maximum torque of 255 Nm, the Rüsselsheim-Porsche goes lively in traffic and almost silently. The chassis is tight, but not hard and the unusual wheel / tire combination of 195/40 R 17 at the front and 205/40 R 17 at the rear not only looks good, but also drives perfectly well for such a one-off.

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On the way to Mainz, a garbage man gives his thumbs up as he drives by. At temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, it is as warm as inside the non-air-conditioned electric manta. But he has to work and here it is fun to dive into the history that has received an unusual power surge. Once switched back and accelerated or better, electricity and the Hessian puts on a brisk intermediate spurt. Again and again incredulous looks at the roadside, which probably have nothing to do with the electric drive, but rather with the bright yellow paintwork and take into account the fact that you don’t see an Opel Manta A every day on public roads in the greater Rüsselsheim area. Hardly anyone should notice that the single item is officially approved and therefore has a completely normal electrical license plate.

The tour was short and that had nothing to do with the battery range of 200 kilometers. It was simply too hot and so the Opel Manta GSe is back in the impressive collection of Opel classics from the rocket car to the Ascona rally to the former luxury sedan of the Diplomat V8. Quickly look for a charging station. Incidentally, the electrified Manta does not have to remain an impossible dream, because through Opel you can actually have your old Manta A converted into an electric car at a cooperating provider and even have it removed again if you don’t like it. Hard to assume that one of the classical music fans will do this with a favorite from the 70s for a renovation cost of easily 30,000 euros – but dreams must be allowed.


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