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 Opel Manta-e, reviving the German brand’s classic style icon from the 1970s.
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.
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 with a sporty look. The electric Opel Manta should offer a spacious, lounge-like interior with wheels pushed to the corners, and the wheelbase stretched out.
Auto Express has published a realistic rendering of the production Manta-e. The rendered model has simpler, conventional body panels, lights, wheels, and other elements that make it less complex and cheaper to manufacture. However, the side profile is quite similar to the Toyota bZ4X, especially the design of the greenhouse and D-pillars. Opel designers would strive to create products that are distinctive and future-oriented.
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 flush with tech features and hardly a few physical controls. Opel designers may want to cleverly use the extra space offered by the STLA Medium platform. A movable center console in the front, similar to the Ioniq 5, could be on the list. One of the key tech features of the Manta-e could be semi-autonomous driving (Level 2+/Level 3), using Stellantis and BMW Group’s jointly developed STLA AutoDrive.
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:
- STLA Small
- STLA Medium
- STLA Large
- STLA Frame
The STLA Medium seems to be the optimal solution for the Opel Manta-e SUV-coupe of the four platforms. Stellantis plans to utilize 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 should be possible.
The Opel Manta-e looks to be a C-segment (compact) model. We know from the officially revealed dimensions of the STLA Medium platform 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.
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 2025. The previewing design concept could debut by the end of this year or early next year. Furthermore, the concept car may reveal details about the specs and interior that Opel has in mind.
Vauxhall Manta electric
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 for 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 are Opel and Vauxhall. Based on a Stellantis press release from August 2021, the first STLA Medium model would 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 2025.
Featured image: Opel/Stellantis