Vauxhall-Opel will revive the classic Manta name for a new battery-electric vehicle that will go on sale by the middle of the decade as part of its transformation into an EV-only brand in Europe.
Opel boss Michael Lohscheller confirmed the revival of the Manta – which in its original form was a rear-wheel-drive coupé – during parent firm Stellantis’s EV Day 2021 event, in which the car giant outlined a £21.8 billion investment in electrification.
Outlining a plan for Opel – including British arm Vauxhall – to go electric-only in Europe by 2028, Lohscheller pledged that: “Opel will reinvent the Manta-e by mid-decade, and bring a very emotional car to the market that will excite our customers.”
Opel recently revealed a factory-built battery-electric restored version of the original Manta A to showcase its EV technology, although the new machine is set to be radically reinvented.
A single teaser image showing a concept design for the revived machine was shown during the presentation, which suggests that the new Manta could take the form of an SUV-coupé.
No further details of the car were released, although it will use one of four Stellantis dedicated EV platforms. It is likely to use either the STLA Medium or STLA Large platform, designated for premium and all-wheel-drive performance cars respectively. Both platforms are designed to house a variety of power outputs and allow for front-, rear- and all-wheel drive.
STLA Medium can house up to 104kWh of batteries, allowing for 440 miles of range, with SLTA Large cars offering up to 500 miles of range from 118kWh batteries.
The first-generation Manta A was launched in 1970 as a Ford Capri rival, and was based on the Ascona saloon. The name came from the Manta Ray concept on which it was based, and which also influenced the Chevrolet Corvette C3.
Unusually, the Manta was sold as an Opel in the UK until it was rebadged as the Vauxhall Cavalier Sports Hatch and Coupe with the arrival of the second-generation Manta B in 1975. Vauxhall only sold that model until 1981, and the third-generation Manta B2 that was launched in 1982 was not offered in the UK.
The Manta was replaced by the Calibra, which was sold in Britain, in 1989.