R-E-S-T-O-M-O-D. Never heard of it? No worries, we also have to type the eight letters into the search engine when we are asked if we want to attend a premiere at the Rüsselsheim headquarters for the Opel POST: the presentation of an electric reminiscence of the Opel Manta. “RestoMod” is derived from restore and modify, so a classic vehicle modified with modern technology. The first bird’s-eye view photos under the headline “Back to the Future” just published by the Media Bureau make us want to see more. So count us in!
On Wednesday morning we take the shuttle service from gate 60 across the plant grounds to K40, go up a ramp, past the floors where the bodies for Kapitän, Admiral and Co. used to be made. Once at the top, we have a sweeping view of a huge hall with a wall of windows, where an eye-catching trio await us: The Manta A, Mokka-e – and the electrified Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD. On its visor display appear the words: “Hello Opel Post! Hello Opelaner!“ Wow, what a greeting!
The communicative one: Via Pixel-Vizor, the Manta GSe ElektroMOD can communicate – and greet colleagues, for example.
“The Manta GSe ElektroMOD stands for pure love of the automobile. We are building a bridge from the great Opel tradition to a sustainable future.”
“With the ElektroMOD we show: Opel is bold and pure – excitingly different. And the fact that the neo-classic was designed and built by Opel employees makes it all the more special.”
Flanking the neon yellow Manta GSe ElektroMOD this morning are Pierre-Olivier Garcia and Quentin Huber. The former is responsible for global Opel Brand Design, the latter is Head of Brand Strategy and Social Media. Without further ado, they get into the details. Quentin Huber explains that the neon yellow paint picks up on the new Opel CI, while Pierre-Olivier Garcia uses a smartphone to let a Manta ray glide across the Pixel-Vizor and then demonstrate that the Manta logo in the form of a QR code next to the wheelarches leads to the Opel Media website. It is obvious: there is not only battery-electric drive and state-of-the-art Opel technology such as LED lights in this Manta A body – but also plenty of emotion. “The Manta GSe ElektroMOD stands for pure love of the automobile,” says Pierre-Olivier Garcia. “It builds a bridge from the great Opel tradition to a desirable sustainable future.” Whether manual transmission, rear-wheel drive or Opel Pure Panel instead of classic round instruments: “With the ElektroMOD we show that Opel is bold and pure – excitingly different. Perhaps different from what you would expect from us,” emphasises Quentin Huber.
“The ‚RestoMod‘ trend, classic vehicles with modern drives, appealed to us. So why not give the Manta a new lease of life electrically?”
Developed and designed
by Opel employees
The one-off was not created just anywhere. It was created at Opel itself. Developed and designed by Opel employees. Out of pure love of the car. The original orange-red body comes from a Manta A from the Opel Classic collection. All in all in good shape, but a bit worn out. Still unrestored, perhaps more of a parts carrier. “The ‚RestoMod‘ trend, classic vehicles with modern drives, appealed to us,” says Jens Cooper from Opel Classic, who just joined us at the vehicle.
So why not give the Manta a new lease of life electrically? Jens Cooper: “With plenty of torque on the rear axle for fast sprints.” The Classic colleagues shared this original idea with some passionate designers, 3D modellers, engineers, technicians, mechanics, product and brand experts. A group of Opel fans simply in love with cars quickly came together and started the project “Dream Car”.
Modern elements: The boot proudly displays “Manta” in the new Opel script. The “e” in GSe now refers to the electric drive with 108 kW/147 hp. This makes the GSe the most powerful Manta A ever built by Opel ex-works.
Bold & Pure: LED technology is used in the integrated daytime running lamps, the main headlamps and the strikingly three-dimensional taillights.
The ElektroMOD – a magnet
of motivation and joy
So much enthusiasm also inspired the “Car Guys” in the Opel management – and the idea of an ElektroMOD became reality. During the past months, the project has “developed into a magnet of motivation and joy”, says Pierre-Olivier Garcia. As if on cue, other colleagues involved gradually come up the ramp in K40. From the concept workshop, the paint shop, the service workshop. Group photos are taken, all full of beaming faces.
One week later at a press event, a journalist will ask Opel boss Michael Lohscheller about the overwhelming response to the first photos of the electrified Manta. “In my wildest dreams I never expected the feedback to be so overwhelming. People have obviously been waiting for the Manta. With the Manta GSe ElektroMOD, we are pursuing the idea of ‚Back to the Future‘ – we want to transport things that were good into the future. We will definitely follow the further response very closely,” was his answer.
One thing is certain: in the next step, the Manta makers will collect, analyse and process their experiences in building the ElektroMOD. The aim is to provide Opel fans with a recipe for their own transformation of an oldie into an electric neo-classic.
The latest digital technology: The classic round instruments in the interior are history, instead the driver looks at a wide Opel Pure Panel, just like in the new production Mokka.
Electric driving fun: The 2021 electric Manta delivers maximum torque of 255 Nm from a standstill. Now the driver has the choice of manually shifting the original four-speed gearbox or simply engaging fourth gear and then driving automatically. Power is always transmitted to the rear wheels – the Manta remains a classic sports car.
The desire to hit the road: The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 31 kWh, allowing an average range of around 200 kilometres. Street-legal and ready to go.
THE OPEL TEAM
WHO MADE IT HAPPEN
The Manta GSe ElektroMOD was not created just anywhere. It was created at Opel itself.
Developed and designed by Opel employees. Out of pure love of the car.
CHRISTIANE EVA BETZ
BERND RIEBEL &
PAINT, CARBON & BODY SHOP:
ENGINEERING, ELECTRIC &