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Opel Manta

In the early eighties Erich Bitter thought there was a gap in the market of compact sports cars. The MGs and Triumphs of the sixties and seventies had disappeared and the Toyota MR2 and Mazda MX5 were not born yet. There was of course the beautiful Alfa Romeo Spider. The idea was not entirely new. With the Bitter Super Aero there was a first attempt to approch this market in 1978.

With production numbers of the Bitter SC Coupé increasing and plans for other derivates of the SC, it also became clear that a lower priced car was needed for the financial health and growth of the company.

In 1983 Erich Bitter, George Gallion and Eberhard Schultz started working on the Bitter Rallye. As with the Bitter CD and Bitter SC they also used proven mechanics from Opel. The donor car for the Rallye was the Opel Manta B. One of the main reasons was the front engine with rear-wheel drive configuration. The first prototype was built by Isdera and was presented in 1984 under the name "Bitter GT".

Bitter was planning to offer the Rallye in different versions going from a basic version with standard 110 bhp 2.0-litre engine to an up-market version with a 165 bhp 2.6-litre engine and full leather interior.

With estimated prices far above a fully equiped Opel Manta GT/E and close to the Porsche 924 it would become difficult to market the Rallye. This and the fact that the company was already investing a lot in the development of the 3.9 litre engine, the SC Cabriolet and SC Sedan and the expansion to the US market, were causing the development of the Rallye to be put on hold.

In 1986 Erich Bitter wanted to relaunch the development of his baby Bitter but the imminent production stop of the Opel Manta meant that he would have to find another suitable donor car. Eventually only one car was built and Erich Bitter started working on his next project, i.e. the Type3 based on the brand new Opel Omega.

The little red Bitter Rallye is in private hands and can occasionally be seen on car shows.

Displacement120.8 cu in1979 cc
Bore x Stroke3.74 in x 2.75 in95,0 mm x 69,8 mm
Compression ratio9.4 : 19,4 : 1
Fuel deliveryBosch LE-JetronicBosch LE-Jetronic
Horsepower110 hp at 5400 rpm81 kW at 5400 rpm
Torque119 lb ft at 3400 rpm162 Nm at 3400 rpm
Length162.2 in4120 mm
Width69.3 in1760 mm
Height44.1 in1120 mm
Weight2150 lbs975 kg
Wheelbase93.7 in2318 mm
Track (Front/Rear)--
Wheels7 J 15 / 8 J 157 J 15 / 8 J 15
Tires215-60 VR 15 / 235-55 VR 15215-60 VR 15 / 235-55 VR 15
Top speed118 mph190 km/h
Acceleration0-60 mph : 9.7 sec0-100 km/h : 9,9 sec