While the tech underneath that signature black bonnet will be destined for an Opel or Vauxhall soon – all their new models will be electrified by 2024, Opel say – the style is destined to remain out of reach. That’s a little sad because Opel’s 1970s answer to the Ford Capri was a bit of a looker, in a rather petite, feminine way. With its front-engined, rear-drive layout it was also a tuner’s favourite.
Opel insists the Manta is an “icon” in Germany, but while it was sold here as an Opel in the ‘70s it is less well known in the UK (where we had to make do with the Firenza). Of course, we are talking here about the first-gen Manta, not its successor from 1975 that turned into the Manta 400 rally winner and which also spawned a Vauxhall Cavalier Sports Hatch equivalent. It was really only this first Manta that boasted some style.
And the Opel team behind the Manta GSe ElektroMOD have done a good job keeping that style while shoehorning in the latest tech. The four-pot petrol engine has been swapped for a 147PS (108kW) electric motor, but interestingly it’s been hooked up to the original four-speed gearbox. A 31kWh Lithium-ion battery offers a range of around 124 miles. No great claims are made for its performance but then they weren’t in the Manta’s heyday either.