On the one hand, Opel continues to pump out good looking sedans, hatches and wagons with some gumption and motoring chops. Meanwhile, there have also been so many proposed new products and segment competitors for the German brand (Calibra, standalone Astra cabrio, Insignia crossover, Junior hatch, vans, etc) that sometimes we wonder which way the lightning bolt is going. The latest imagining of new Opel wares comes from chairman Karl-Friedrich Stracke, who says he could see modern takes on both the Opel Manta and Opel GT.

The Manta was a sport coupe rendition of the Opel 1900 that didn't just take on the Ford Capri, but also Group B rallying. They were praised by American scribes for their handling but they never really caught on – certainly not like the GT, which sold more than 70,000 units in North America. Nevertheless, while it's true that Opel doesn't have a true sport coupe or sports car in its range, we wonder where and how a new Manta and/or GT would fit, especially considering what could be done with the supposedly forthcoming Calibra. Unless either one of those could be the small Opel that General Motors supposedly wants to bring to the U.S....


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  • 13 Comments
      aatbloke1967
      • 3 Years Ago
      AB's article is effectively misleading; the Manta A (sold in North America) was indeed a variant of the 1900. However, the rally cars were the Manta B and its saloon derivative the Ascona B. These were essentially the same vehicles as the Vauxhall Cavalier mk1, using the rear-drive U-Car platform. While the Ascona and Cavalier U-Cars were discontinued in July 1981 to be replaced by the J-Cars using the same names, the Manta soldiered on until 1985 by virtue of the rallying programme. Vauxhall's rallying programme consisted of the Chevette 2200HSR. The Manta was effectively replaced by the Calibra, and given that GME is pondering a new Calibra, I say use the Manta name instead and make a return to the rally circuit.
      TriShield
      • 3 Years Ago
      I graduated high school in the late 90s, during the last two years of it my car was a 1974 Buick-Opel Manta Ralleye and the one I learned to drive stick really well in. It did not have A/C or power steering, no electric accessories, two-speed wipers and the washer fluid had a foot pump in the driver's footwell and it was all massively fun. It was a very tossable and fun to drive car.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bring it over as a Buick. Please. This could be the best thing that has ever happened to Buick to improve its stigma of being an old man's car. A lightweight, flingable sports coupe like a modern Manta is just what Buick needs to get going again. Call it the Reatta.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bring out the Buick Riviera concept from last year, and also label it an Opel Manta. http://www.cars.com/features/autoshows/2008/detroit/coverage/images/buick_riviera/buick_riviera_0_430.jpg
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        The Riviera and the Manta are completely different ideas. One is a compact, flingable sports coupe, the other is a laid back luxury coupe. It would be more appropriate to call the new Riviera (on the next Zeta platform?) the Calibra.
      Kris
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would love to see a new Manta, but i don't think I'm gonna like it. Let me explain myself. Nobody is going to make a new model from scratch on its own platform. Meaning if they produce Manta it is going to be on existing GM platform. To be a real Manta it needs to be rear wheels drive and relatively small (right there with BMW 1st series Coupe and Toyota FT-86). GM simply does not have platform like that. Meaning it is going to be either FWD or big Camaro based coupe (more likely Astra based FWD) and there is why I think I'm not going to like it. Let's hope for the best and I'm totally wrong and they make one beautiful, small, RWD sportscar in near future.
        Dasupersprint
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kris
        Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky/Opel Speedster
          Kris
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dasupersprint
          Opel Speedster shared chassis with Lotus Elise and has nothing to do with GM anymore and it is not even in the same category. Opel GT shares platform with Solstice, but it is small 2 seats roadster. Not a 4 seats coupe. Maybe they can take it as a starting point and use some suspension and drivetrain parts from it, but it need a new monocoque to bolt them into and this is my point exactly - it ain't gonna be cheap and for a small volume car like that nobody is going to do it.
      stclair5211
      • 3 Years Ago
      M-m-m-m-manta.
      johnb
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes, bring back the Manta, but don't screw it up like some of your current half-baked options Opel!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      whofan
      • 3 Years Ago
      When I was stationed in Germany I had a 1977 Opel Manta GT/E. That car was a blast to drive. It was fuel injected and ran on regular leaded gas. It could tack up to 7500 RPM before it ran out of breath. Great car! Different from the mini Vette Manta we had here in the States.
        whofan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @whofan
        Mine was The Manta B The Chevy Monza hatchback looked alot like it. I never had a vehicle since that had a red line at 7800 RPM. The car would pull all the way up to 7500.
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