All-electric Opel Manta GSe restomod revealed

The eccentric Opel Manta GSe resto-mod previews Vauxhall’s electric GSe performance sub-brand

The Opel Manta has been reimagined for the 21st century in the form of a one-off restomod concept, complete with a de-rigueur electric powertrain. Called the Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD, the project was undertaken by a small group of Opel’s designers, connecting the historic icon with its electrified future.

Developed to celebrate 50 years since the launch of the original, the GSe swaps a four-cylinder petrol for a rear-mounted electric motor. Sending 145bhp and 188lb ft of torque to the rear wheels, it packs quite a bump in performance over the 1970s original. A 31kWh battery pack is said to offer up to 124 miles of range on a full charge, and will charge from empty to full in four hours.

What makes the Manta GSe unusual in EV circles is the inclusion of a four-speed manual transmission. While the ability to change gears is a slight novelty in electric cars, the electric motor is flexible enough to just select fourth gear from a standstill, and drive as if it were a normal single-speed electric car.

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The Manta GSe also introduces us to Vauxhall’s incoming GSe electric performance sub-brand, which like PSE for Peugeot, will soon expand into a range of electrified performance models including a high performance electric Corsa that will build off the existing Corsa-e.

For now, though, the Manta GSe has been designed to be a showcase of Opel’s (and Vauxhall’s) new-found verve under PSA ownership. The Manta itself, as well as being an iconic model from the past, is also the model that has thus informed Vauxhall’s new design language that was introduced in the latest Moka, bringing its past and future together. 

To connect the Manta GSe with its newer brethren, the classic face has been replaced with a digital interpretation courtesy of a full-width ‘Pixel-Vizor’, allowing the car to ‘communicate with the environment’ through messages on its LED display. The design also features similar eyebrows to the modern Moka, replacing the traditional twin-roundels made famous by the original.

The rest of the show car is much closer to the original, with its body largely unchanged from the original save for a new front air-dam and unique 17-inch wheel design. Inside, there’s a digital dash as found in the new Mokka, with 12- and 10-inch displays providing occupants with powertrain information. Though retaining an element of ‘70s flare, the three-spoke steering wheel has also been modified with a bright yellow 12 o’clock marker. The seats are new, borrowed from the Opel Adam S, while a new Marshall sound system takes care of the in-car entertainment system – designed no doubt to make amends for the GSe’s combination of near-silent EV powertrains and 1970s cabin refinement.

There are no plans to put the Manta GSe into production, but it does point towards an increasing reference it wants to make with some of the icons of its past.

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