German automaker Opel has tried something out of the box, that rather seems like an emotionally inspired project, but would most likely scale, given the reaction from the Opel fanbase all over the world.
The engineers at Rüsselsheim, put their hearts and souls into building a fully-electric Opel Manta a car that originally debuted more than 50 years ago with a four-cylinder combustion engine. Re-building a retro car replaced with an electric drive-train is perhaps not the most scalable operation.
The car community uses the word ‘Resto-mod’ to describe this. A resto-mod car is typically used to refer to a re-worked classic equipped with modern day tech. Only that, in this case the Manta Elektromod GSe is built from the scratch. It only took the team 12 months to engineer this entire car, which is kinda of a monumental achievement.
Now let’s talk details, that you guys are curious to know. But hold your horses, the all new Manta GSe (the ‘e’ stands for electric by the way) is not a high performance Tesla with a 0 to 60 acceleration under 3 seconds.
And it shouldn’t be that way either, because this car is derived and inspired from a Manta not a McLaren. Nevertheless, we have a neat 108 kW electric motor under the hood (just like its former four-cylinder engine) producing a decent 255 Nm torque, drawing its juice from 31 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which is located between the back seat and the trunk. Opel claims an estimated range of 200 kilometres, once the vehicle is fully loaded, which takes a solid 4 hours.
With this relatively small battery pack the Manta Elektromod is a 100 kilos heavier than its first generation counterpart. The structural placement of the drivetrain however is more or less similar to the classic Manta. The drive shaft and even the four-speed gearbox remains. Though you wouldn’t have to use the clutch anymore to shift through the gears manually.
Alongside the EV powertrain, the dash is entirely revamped too. The radio is no more, instead there’s a powerful bluetooth loudspeaker from Marshall.
Design wise, I’d say the car looks pretty legendary due to the striking resemblance to its doppelganger from the 70s, which Opel manufactured in good numbers until ’88. I’m already a fan of the modern elements in the design that stand out and reinstate the novelty of the Manta Elektro while staying loyal to its true philosophy.
Nonetheless, the final question is whether this would make it to production. Well, Opel boss Lohscheller is surprisingly positive about considering the Manta Elektro as a production car. Opel is one of those manufacturers that has taken electrification quite seriously. So if the Manta base is strong enough for the market analysts, we would be seeing the rebirth of the Manta anytime soon. Apparently, in an interview with The Business Insider, Lohscheller said “”Germany seems to be waiting for the Manta!”
Photo Courtesy : Opel
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