We’re already big fans of the RestoMod scene here. Typically carried out by small, niche businesses on industrial estates and lovingly created by expert enthusiasts, they’re doing great work in keeping classic cars relevant for an electric future. With the Manta GSe ElektroMOD, however, the modding has been done by Opel itself.
When manufacturers get involved in things that are usually driven by enthusiasts, they can turn out a bit… well, naff. Thankfully Opel has done a fantastic job on the Manta GSe in a fitting celebration of the coupe’s 50th anniversary.
The Mk1 Manta (or Manta A) was never a tower of power, despite its mini muscle car looks. In its most powerful guise it barely crept over 100bhp. In the GSe, Opel has ditched the breathless four-pot and replaced it with a 145bhp electric motor, supported by 166lb-ft of twist. We don’t know what this translates into with regards performance, but low 8s to 62mph seems about right.
Whilst the petrol engine is out, Opel has remained true to the Manta A’s heritage by endowing the GSe with a four-speed gearbox, which transfers power to the rear wheels. Allowing drivers to shift cogs manually is a really nice touch, but maintaining the modern feel, it’s possible to leave the Manta in fourth and drive around automatically.
Opel has kept the Manta GSe ElektroMOD simple and small in the battery department. A 31kWh lithium-ion battery keeps the car light, whilst still enabling it to travel up to 124 miles on a charge. Even if we assume that in the real world this is closer to 100 miles, that’s still plenty for a car which is as much a showpiece as it is a means of transport.
A 9kW on-board charger means the small battery can be charged in under four hours from empty to 100 per cent.
Let’s face it most of us are here for the way the Manta looks. It features the latest design elements including the ‘Vizor’ front end that we have most recently seen on the Vauxhall Mokka-e, albeit on the Manta GSe, there is a ‘Pixel-Vizor’ front end enabling it to display messages – though we’re not entirely sure why. Opel has removed the chrome bumpers, to great effect in our view.
It’s the same bumper-less scenario at the rear of the car, which features a modern take on the circular lights that helped define the styling of the original car. A black panel featuring the Opel logo is complemented by ‘Manta’ spelled out on the boot lid.
Eye-catching yellow paint is contrasted by the black bonnet and rear feature panel. Stepped 17 inch alloys, which have been designed for the GSe, are also in black, with contrasting chrome highlights.
Inside, the Manta GSe is thoroughly modern with the latest Opel/Vauxhall Pure Panel displays. Black sports seats are trimmed with yellow stitching, whilst the Petri three-spoke steering wheel has a 12 o’clock marker in yellow. Matt grey features on door panels and other cockpit surfaces, complementing the black with yellow highlights theme.
It’s very unfortunate that the manufacturer-created RestoModded EV we all want is a one-off and won’t make it to production. That said, given the interest in this car, how long until an industrial estate-based business goes ahead and creates its own conversion for genuine Manta As…