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Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric brings iconic dune buggy into the modern age

Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric brings iconic dune buggy into the modern age
  • Meyers Manx unveiled the Manx 2.0 Electric Monday night as a reinvention of the original dune buggy that captured hearts in the 1960s.
  • The electric buggy is the first vehicle produced under the new leadership that the company took over shortly before the death of original designer Bruce Meyers.
  • The 40 kWh battery, the larger of the two options, has a 300-mile range and promises 202 horsepower and up to 240 foot-pounds of torque.

    In Car and driver April 1967 issue, we had the original Meyers Manx on the cover, front and center. Our road test declared it, “all things for all people.” The one thing they all agreed on, we said, was that the Meyers Manx was “more soul-free, jumping, leaping, uninhibited fun than anything else they’ve ever ridden — on or off the road.”

      Fifty-five years later, the beloved dune buggy aspires to be all that and more as it’s redesigned for 2023. Announced Monday night, the Manx 2.0 Electric brings all the adventurous, off-road fun of the original, powered only by a battery. .

      Evan KleinCourtesy of Meyers Manx

      The design of the Manx 2.0 closely follows in the footsteps of the original with its rugged yet voluptuous silhouette, but the latest incarnation is a bit more refined than its predecessor, thanks to the closed back to cool the electric motors. No air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle engine hanging behind this.

      Still, the Manx 2.0 stays true to the monocoque chassis legacy of the original, making it light — the heaviest 2.0 is 1650 pounds — and strong on rough terrain. It also features independent rear suspension and regenerative braking, which should carry most of the braking load.

      Evan KleinCourtesy of Meyers Manx

      Inside, the Manx 2.0 will have two battery options: a 20 kWh battery with a range of 240 miles or a 40 kWh battery with a range of 500 miles. While the company has yet to release power specifications for the smaller battery, the larger option sends 202 horsepower and up to 240 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels via two motors, which should get you traveling an estimated 4.5 miles per hour. seconds. The motor, inverter, gear transmission and brakes are housed in one unit.

      The motor unit of the Manx 2.0 is attached to a battery pack.

      Elana ScherrCar and driver

      The first batch, with just 50 buggies in total, will ship in 2023 as part of a beta program, but once the Manx 2.0 reaches a wider audience, it will come with a range of options such as air conditioning and heating, as well as a smart screen, according to Meyers Manx CEO Freeman Thomas.

      Thomas, designer of the New Beetle and others such as the original Audi TT concept, joined Meyers Manx as CEO in 2020 following the takeover of the brand by venture capitalist and Manx enthusiast Phillip Sarofim. Sarofim acquired Meyers Manx from Bruce and Winnie Meyers shortly before Bruce Meyers died at the age of 94 in 2021, and now, according to Freeman, the duo wants to “carry his legacy into the future”.

      Evan KleinCourtesy of Meyers Manx

      It’s a powerful legacy. Bruce Meyers almost single-handedly started the kit dune buggy craze when, despite being more familiar with building sailboats and surfboards, he decided in 1964 to build a dune buggy from a Beetle in his garage in Newport Beach, California. his garage in Newport Beach, California. It quickly became a sensation after breaking the timed record for a run from Tijuana, Mexico, to La Paz over rocky, desert terrain. When the route was organized in 1967 in the very first Baja 1000, known as the Mexican 1000, the Meyers Manx was crowned the winner.

      However, an electric Manx also has a history. Bruce Meyers revived the Meyers Manx brand in 2000, and in 2014 he teamed up with Las Vegas-based battery company Rev-TEC to create an electric concept known as the Manx V. The V had 86, 3 horsepower and a top speed of 64 miles per hour. Volkswagen also participated with a concept from 2019, inspired by the original Manx, the ID Buggy.

      Sure, the Meyers Manx has had quite the journey since we put it on our cover all those years ago. However, with the unveiling of the Manx 2.0, it’s clear that wherever the auto industry has gone, seemingly nothing is quite as excited as the Manx.

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