Literally, it can smile.
It is difficult to keep track of all the car brands that have moved in and out of GM's ownership throughout the years. German manufacturer Opel was at one time owned by General Motors and was partly responsible for cars such as Chevrolet Chevair in the 60s and 70s (part Opel Ascona, and Opel Manta). It is the latter car that we are interested in here.
The stylish Manta was a rear-wheel-drive sports coupé that was sold in two generations between 1970 and 1988. The Manta was sold in the US in forgettable quantities as a competitor to Nissan's Z cars and smaller domestic coupes. A recent announcement by the German company has reignited the imaginations of those who can remember the little two-door.
The new Opel Manta GSe is an all-electric take on the stylish icon and retains a lot of the old car's design flair, but packs in a whole load of advanced technology, most notably in the front: the Manta GSe can literally smile at passersby thanks to a cool LED digital grille called the b'Pixel-Vizor'. This slick gadget stretches across the entire width of the vehicle and displays sentences such as "My German heart has been ELEKTRified", and "I am on a zero e-mission." Cute. The all-electric car sports a blacked-out hood as the Mantas of old did, but also gets advanced features such as a fully-digital cabin.
Opel Global Brand Design Manager Pierre-Olivier Garcia explains the bridge the Manta GSe ElektoMOD builds between tradition and sustainability. "The Manta GSe ElektroMOD is the work of passionate designers, 3D modelers, engineers, technicians, mechanics, product and brand experts. [They're] all Opel fans who love cars and have fun developing new things. With the Manta GSe, we are building a bridge from the great Opel tradition to a very desirable sustainable future. This mixture of zeitgeist and modern is absolutely fascinating." he concludes.
The Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD is currently undergoing some final refinements in Russelsheimn and will be officially revealed on May 19 (don't expect it to come to the US). Potential rivals such as the BMW i3, VW e-Golf, and Mini Cooper Electric currently rule the compact EV market in Europe.