Opel Manta-e revives 50-year old style icon as an SUV-coupe [Update]

Update: ‘Interior & Features’ section added and ‘Platform’ and ‘Production & Release Date’ sections updated.

With a target of building an EV-only product line-up in the European markets by 2028, Stellantis brand Opel plans to launch many new EVs in the coming years. The introductions will include bold products that will not only bring sales but also help in brand-building. One such product will be an electric SUV-coupe called Opel Manta-e, reviving the German brand’s classic style icon from the 1970s.

Design

In mid-2021, Opel released a picture of the Manta-e, teasing the concept version of the upcoming electric crossover. The design looks quite far from production, and understandably so, with the launch four years away.

Opel Manta-e concept rear three quarters
The render of the concept model released last year confirmed that the Manta would be reborn as a coupe-SUV. Image: Opel/Stellantis

Extremely raked A-pillars result in an unusually flattish windscreen at the front. A low roofline ends in a second visibly flattish windscreen at the rear. The squarish panels over the wheel arches lend the concept a funky styling, while the sleek, wedge-shaped DLO underlines its dynamic, performance-focused character. The concave rear section with clean surfaces and L-shaped thin horizontal tail lights provide the SUV-coupe a sporty look. With wheels pushed to the corners and the wheelbase stretched-out, the electric Opel Manta should offer a spacious, lounge-like interior.

Auto Express has published a realistic rendering from Avarvarii to show how the production Manta-e may look. The rendered model has simpler, more conventional body panels, lights, wheels, and other elements that make it easier and less costly to produce. However, the side profile is quite similar to the Toyota bZ4X, especially the design of the greenhouse and D-pillars. Opel designers will probably try better to ensure their product looks distinctive enough.

Interior & Features

The Opel Manta-e should feature one of the most futuristic interiors ever seen in an Opel before. Uwe Hochgeschurtz, the CEO of Opel, has said that it will be very spacious, which is one of the many advantages of EV-only and EV-first platforms.

Expect a low-profile interior that’s high on tech features and relies less on physical controls. Opel designers may want to make clever usage of the extra space they get from the STLA Medium platform. A movable center console in the front could be one of them; Hyundai’s already offering that feature now (in the Ioniq 5). One of the key tech features of the Manta-e could be semi-autonomous driving, developed using Stellantis and BMW Group’s jointly developed STLA AutoDrive.

Platform

Stellantis is developing a new platform family for EVs called STLA, under which there will be four platforms intended for different models based on their size, specifications, and capabilities:

  1. STLA Small
  2. STLA Medium
  3. STLA Large
  4. STLA Frame

Of the four platforms, the STLA Medium seems to be the optimal solution for the Opel Manta-e SUV-coupe. Stellantis plans to utilise Medium for premium EVs belonging to the globally popular C and D segments, whereas the Large and Frame platforms would underpin North American launches mostly.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has said that it will engineer the STLA Medium platform in Europe, as per a report from Automotive News Europe. The company will develop it as an EV-first platform, meaning that ICE models based on it will also be possible.

Specifications

The Opel Manta-e looks to be a C-segment (compact) model. From the officially revealed maximum dimensions of the STLA Medium platform, we know that it won’t be longer than 4,650 mm or wider than 1,850 mm.

Stellantis plans to release the STLA Medium platform-based EVs with battery pack options ranging from 87 to 104 kWh (gross). The company is targeting a maximum range of up to 700 km (435 miles) for these models, although a low-riding coupe or sedan might be the model that achieves that figure, not the Opel Manta-e. Still, we expect the SUV-coupe to travel more than 600 km (373 miles) on a full charge.

The Opel Manta-e should come in single-motor 2WD and dual-motor AWD variants. Stellantis has confirmed that it will offer STLA Medium platform-based EV models with 125-180 kW electric drive modules. The operating voltage of these EVs will be 400 volts.

Opel Manta electric
Opel says the Manta is an icon in the brand’s history and will also serve as an inspiration for the future. Image: Stellantis/Stellantis EV Day 2021

The lead model of the STLA Medium platform should be able the accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in just two seconds. The Opel Manta-e’s 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) acceleration time could be under five seconds, although an OPC variant with quicker acceleration and sportier styling could follow later.

The new Opel Manta will be a highly emotional car once again. With electric power that ensures first-class acceleration on tap. Our Manta will once again stand for pure driving pleasure. We will build a fascinating, astoundingly spacious new interpretation.

Opel’s CEO Uwe Hochgeschurtz on March 3, 2022

Release Date & Production

The Opel Manta-e will debut by the middle of the decade, likely in early 2025. The previewing design concept could debut by the end of this year or early next year. Furthermore, the concept car may reveal some details about the specs and interior that Opel has in mind.

Another interesting detail is that the Manta will be available in right-hand drive as Vauxhall has confirmed the launch of its version. The UK and Ireland may not be the first markets to receive it, as the initial production batches could contain LHD units. Nevertheless, it would be a launch of strategic importance in the RHD markets where demand of crossover-SUVs is only growing every year. Neither Opel nor Vauxhall has talked about the manufacturing center of the Manta yet, not even its SOP timeline, but production should be sanctioned to one of the Stellantis plants in Europe.

Tavares has said that Stellantis would make four models, divided between three brands, on the STLA Medium platform at its Melfi plant in Italy. According to a previous Automotive News Europe report, two of them will be DS models, one model will be a Lancia, and the remaining two Opel and Vauxhall. The first STLA Medium platform-based model will likely be a DS.

Opel, Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz are stakeholders in the “Automotive Cells Company” (ACC), established with Total/Saft, to develop and manufacture high-performance batteries. ACC’s production capacity in Kaiserslautern (Germany) will be increased to up to 32 GWh, and this plant is expected to supply for the Opel Manta electric. News about the production plans may emerge when the concept version debuts in metal in a few months.

Opel has confirmed that it will launch in China with EVs, but it has not said anything about returning to the U.S. market.

Opel Manta electric FAQs

What is the Opel Manta electric release date?

While Opel has confirmed a mid-decade launch, we expect the car in the European market by the first half of 2025.

What is the expected Opel Manta price & competitor class?

The SUV-coupe should compete with the VW ID.5, Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV, and the Kia EV6 with a EUR 40,000-50,000 price tag.

Featured image: Opel/Stellantis