The famous Meyers Manx beach buggy has been given a new lease of life with an electric powertrain, with 50 examples set to be built for 2023 ahead of a planned, and larger, production run in 2024.
The first Meyers Manx beach buggy, built by American engineers Bruce Meyers in 1964, featured a unibody shell that incorporated the fiberglass body, wings and frame into one cohesive unit, while the drivetrain was lifted from a Volkswagen Beetle. The buggy proved so popular, and twinned the two companies to such an extent that VW even presented its own all-electric ID.Buggy concept as a tribute in 2019, one year before Meyers sold his company after 56 years at the helm and, sadly, just two before his passing in California.
Almost cosmetically identical to the 1960s original – hence the Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric name – the latest example features the same flared wings, high ground clearance, individually-mounted round headlights and compact proportions, and was built under the tutelage of new Meyers Manx LLC CEO Freeman Thomas. Fittingly, Thomas himself is credited for the design of the Volkswagen Concept 1 of 1994, which would later morph into the second-generation VW Beetle.
The original four-cylinder has of course been swapped out for two electric motors, one apiece for the rear wheels, which produce a combined 150 kW and 325 Nm (around 240 lb-ft) of torque. The drivetrain now sits underneath the bodywork rather than at the rear, with the weight also, understandably, said to balloon above the original’s 567 kg to upwards of 680 kg.
Two battery options – 20 kWh and 40 kWh – are said to be available, and with the latter fitted, the Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric is said to be capable of 0-100 km/h in a sprightly 4.5 seconds on asphalt. Range for the two batteries varies from between 240 km and 480 km, and fast-charging options are said to be available for both.
Though details of a possible production run in 2024 after next year’s limited trial have not yet been finalized, the Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric is expected to make its debut at next month’s Monterey Car Week.