Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric Is Spiritual and Physical Successor to Original 'Dune Buggy'

·3 min read
Photo credit: Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric. Photos by Evan Klein courtesy of Meyers Manx
Photo credit: Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric. Photos by Evan Klein courtesy of Meyers Manx
  • Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric succeeds the original "Dune Buggy" built 58 years ago in a garage in Newport Beach, California.

  • New owners brought a fresh, electric-car vision to the original creation.

  • Electric range is estimated at 300 miles from a 40-kWh battery, which is either a little high or the designers were a little high when they came up with that.

Bruce Meyers hand-built the first Meyers Manx in a rented garage in Newport Beach, California, in 1964. The open-topped, fun-loving, go-anywhere car that became popularly known as the “Dune Buggy” then took the world by storm. The freedom and California surfer lifestyle the fiberglass craft embodied struck a chord with owners around the world. If you couldn’t actually live in California and surf in Mexico, you could at least have a car like all the guys who did. It’s still popular today, beloved for its light weight and simplicity as much as for its off-road capability.

But the world is changing and so is the Manx. Now it’s time for a new Manx for the new millennium, and the new owners of Meyers Manx have come through with a successor to the original fun machine that looks fully capable of delivering the same excitement and wanderlust. Owner Philip Sarofim and designer Freeman Thomas offer you: the Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric.

Photo credit: Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric. Photos by Evan Klein courtesy of Meyers Manx
Photo credit: Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric. Photos by Evan Klein courtesy of Meyers Manx

“The Meyers Manx has always been a symbol of joy, simplicity, and purity. It’s the solution to the complexity of life,” said Sarofim, the Texas oil heir who is the chairman of Meyers Manx. “Continuing the legacy of the Meyers Manx connects us with the optimism of the 1960s California culture, an optimism we all can share.”

Meyers Manx says it is partnering with an unnamed “US-based manufacturing entity” to bring the Manx 2.0 Electric into production in 2023, with final assembly taking place in California.

The few details released at the car’s pre-launch at a Malibu, California, beach house were scant: It’ll have two electric motors driving the rear wheels, powered by lithium-ion pouch cells with an integrated battery management system. Batteries will come in two sizes: 20 kWh or 40 kWh. Manx is a bit optimistic in the range it is claiming from these batteries, maybe wildly optimistic: 150 miles from the 20-kWh pack and 300 miles from the 40-kWh battery. For comparison, the 35.5-kWh battery in the new Mazda MX-30 electric car is good for 100 miles. The 16-kWh battery in a Mitsubishi iMiEV was only good for 62 miles when new. Granted, the Manx weighs only 1500 pounds or 1650 pounds depending on which battery you choose, but even electric motorcycles don’t get that kind of range.

They’ll sort it out during the Beta program, surely.

“The Meyers Manx Beta program will deliver the first 50 cars to select customers in 2023,” Manx said. “The launch vehicles will provide a unique engagement experience with the group of early adopters by providing feedback to the development team as they refine the production version.”

The new car carries on the pioneering look of the original, especially with the roof off.

“Knowing Bruce’s artistry and Phillip’s enthusiasm for the brand, I am so glad that Bruce trusted us to carry his legacy into the future,” said Thomas. “The new Manx 2.0 Electric is designed to exceed expectations. It’s simple and endearing and taps into the spirit of playfulness. The ageless design brings out your inner child. It’s about passion.”