Electric-converted classics are becoming a big deal. The thinking behind them is simple: you keep the gorgeous retro lines but ditch the unreliable bit with all the moving parts under the bonnet. These things are usually the preserve of aftermarket companies, but now, Opel has decided to have a go itself.
The starting point is the Manta A, Opel’s charming coupe which celebrates its 50th birthday this year. That’s one half of the rationale for building the ‘Manta GSe ElektroMOD’, the other being to mark Opel’s “new electric direction,” which will involve every model in the range having an electrified option by 2024.
The original Manta’s inline-four has been ditched, replaced with a single electric motor that lives in its place. Interestingly, this then drives the rear wheels via the original four-speed manual gearbox, and presumably the stock prop and differential too. Or you can just leave it in fourth and treat it like a regular single-speed EV, Opel says.
The motor is good for 145bhp and 188lb ft of torque, both figures being a damn sight more than the original Manta enjoyed, and more than enough to offset the added weight of the electric stuff. On that front, the motor is powered by a 31kWh battery pack, making for a range of 124 miles. The charging capacity is capped at 9kW, so juicing it up takes a fairly leisurely four hours.
To go with the updated powerplant, the looks have been brought up to date too, albeit with the classic silhouette retained. Headling the tweaks is a ‘Pixel-Vizor’ lighting system at the front that allows the display of various messages, with LED daytime running lights sitting on either side. There’s also notable absence of the original car’s chrome, and some significantly larger wheels - it wears 17-inch Ronal wheels.
The cabin is barely recognisable thanks to the switching of the analogue instrument to the Opel/Vauxhall ‘Pure Panel’ setup, which consists of 12 and 10-inch screens. Balancing that out is nicely is a Petri three-spoke steering wheel, retrimmed and spruced up with a yellow 12 o’clock marker. Finally, there’s a new audio system from iconic guitar amp specialist Marshall.
It’s strictly just a one-off - this isn’t the starting point for an official restomod service from Opel, sadly.