September 24, 2021

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Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD: Idea, People, Technology

At first the car was there. Specifically, an orange-red Opel Manta with a black vinyl roof stocked in the Opel Classic Collection. A typical representative of the seventies, wild and colorful … an icon of style. Overall in good condition, but a little tired. She had not yet recovered, and instead her life was to become an organ bank. At the same time, Opel’s electric offensive was in full swing with new models such as the Opel Mokka E. One thing leads to another. After all, the trend has been towards “restomods”, old cars to which we add modern engines. So why not give manta a new electric life? Electricity can provide the Manta with plenty of torque to the rear axle and lightning-fast acceleration, all in silence. The idea was good and it was embraced by a few enthusiastic designers, 3D modelers, engineers, technicians, mechanics, product and brand experts. Absolute Opel lovers, who simply love cars.

Soon the idea was formed. Even though it’s been 50 years since the Manta, it was meant to be the girl of our time: electric and zero-emissions yet still driving such a legendary car. The’Opel Manta GSe ElectricMOD It was born – even if at first it was just a figment of the mind of its creators. “The GSe is a tribute to yesterday’s Manta, and at the same time an affirmation of the brand for today. Opel is assertive and pure, passionately different. We may also differ from what you think we are,” says Quentin Huber, head of brand strategy and social media at Opel.

Much enthusiasm immediately inspired the “car guys” in the Opel management. The spontaneous green light came from above for this unusual, rude and wonderful project. Thus, ElektroMOD was able to move into reality within a few months. A similar adventure had already taken place a few years ago at Opel: a group of enthusiasts, gathered around chief designer Erhard Schnell, on his own initiative designed a fantastic sports coupe. It was in 1963, and the project was called GT Pilot. Barely two years later, we saw the arrival of the production version, the Opel GT, which was produced from 1968 to 1973. But that’s another story.

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In the case of the Manta GSe ElektroMOD, the development team preserved all the original appearance of the car, but decorated it with the latest innovations: this is the case, for example, pixel viewfinder, taking advantage of the latest LED technology, a fully digital dashboard, and of course all-electric drivetrain.

“Manta GSe is synonymous with absolute love for cars. With ElektroMOD, we are building a bridge between the great Opel tradition and a sustainable future. This combination of zeitgeist and modernity is absolutely remarkable,” explains Pierre-Olivier Garcia, Director of Global Brand Design at Opel, on behalf of the Manta GSe team.

Step by step: From the old original car to the cool ElektroMOD

The transformation began in the sacred conservatory of the Opel Classic, a section of the unrestored. There was an orange and red Manta A with a black vinyl roof and automatic transmission. The car was inherited by the Opel Classic in 1988, donated by its original owner, a woman from Wiesbaden. She had bought a new Manta in 1974 and had driven with it for 14 years, and cared very much about it: paying off Practically rust free. The Manta received its new fluorescent yellow paint in the workshops of Opel’s prototype division after it was electrified and passed TÜV technical control.

Without headrests, the original Manta A seats had no place in a modern car. So the Manta GSe ElektroMOD . is equipped Number of Recaro seats, similar to those found in the Opel ADAM S sports car. However, the exchange wasn’t easy, and like many items, it had to be practically re-manufactured to scale in the Opel Prototyping Workshop so it could be installed in the Manta.

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The original owner of the Manta A chose an automatic transmission, and this gearbox was still in perfect condition. However, this was a rare fit for a ’70s Manta car and the team wanted a classic. Four-speed manual transmission that were installed in millions of vehicles at the time. So they designed an adapter to pair an Opel gearbox with a larger clutch. A longer drive shaft was also needed, which was discovered in the Opel Classic parts store. The braking system was adapted to increase the performance of the car. Larger bearings were installed on the front axle and the rear axle changed from drum brakes to disc brakes.

The choice was made with a somewhat firm suspension in the front, and softer in the rear, so that the Manta could still easily transfer power to the drive wheels. Because we must not forget that this is the most powerful Manta A game ever, except for some advanced versions and other competition models. Energy synchronous motor 108 kW (147 hp) is transmitted to the road via a conventional propulsion system. The 31 kWh lithium-ion battery was installed as forward as possible in the trunk, to enhance grip and lower the center of gravity. Despite this location, the Manta GSe offers enough space for four people for a two-week vacation in Italy.

Converted to ElektroMOD, the Manta weighs about 1137 kg, which is 175 kg more than the original model. But still much less than many modern cars equipped with a classic heat engine. When driving normally, the GSe can reach a range of up to 200 km, or even more if the driver is light. And of course, the e-Manta can pick up power like any other electric Opel. to activate energy regenerationAll the driver has to do is activate a switch installed in the glove box.

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Sitting behind the wheel of the Manta GSe ElektroMOD is fantastic. Because its charm does not stop at a line that evokes the encounter between tradition and modernity: it also offers a method of treatment that does not leave indifferent. Just turn the ignition key and the engine will start – quietly, of course. The driver can then put the gearbox into fourth gear and start simply: no problem with the powerful electric motor. But it can also change gears manually on opel box Four speeds, as originally planned. Then the Manta GSe accelerates at a constant rate. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 150 km / h.