With baby Plymouth 'Cuda looks and an eye-grabbing neon yellow paint job, the Opel Manta returned in a big way on Wednesday. After a handful of teasers showing off various parts, the German automaker pulled the wraps off the car as it positions the passion project as a way to show EVs can still be chock-full of fun.
And this looks like fun. It touts 147 horsepower and has a four-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. Yep, it has a stick, and a smart one at that. The Manta GSe, as Opel dubbed this electric version, features a totally usable four-speed manual transmission. But if you're ready to just let the car shift itself, all you need to do is leave the car in fourth gear. Then, it works just like a CVT. It's the best of both worlds. When it needs charging, it takes just under four hours to juice up the 31 kilowatt-hour battery. Total range sits at around 124 miles.
Through and through, the design is super retro and the Manta GSe rocks it. The shape is vintage Manta, down to the lovely, circular taillights at the rear. Up front is where you find the largest deviation with Opel's modern fascia, complete with straight-edge LED accents. In fact, the whole front grille is a screen that can display messages. The 17-inch wheels are delightfully chunky and the black hood creates a striking contrast from the highlighter paint that covers the car.
Inside, Opel plucked elements from production cars to create some of the interior, including the seats, but the star is the wonderful Petri three-spoke steering. Again, it's super retro, but modernized and includes a 12 o'clock hashmark in a matching yellow from the exterior. Matte gray accents cover various interior panels, and Alcantara washes over the headliner to up the premium feel a tad.
I'd like one, so all of us who feel the same need to yell at Opel to put the car into production somehow. Right now, this is a one-off "ElektroMOD," as the brand called it. But like many other delightful EV concepts, brands are showing there's still room for passionate design in the future, and that should have everyone excited for the survival of enthusiast cars.