Say what you want about electric cars, but by now we have to accept it is the very real future we’re heading towards. One by one car manufacturers are moving away from internal combustion engines in favour of electrification. And whether or not this is at all beneficial to the environment, in the long run, remains to be seen. The fact of the matter is, the automotive industry has never been shaken up more than in the past 5 to 10 years. Personally, I have little experience in an electric car but I do know one thing and that’s the fact everybody always talks about two things; power, and range. One didn’t necessarily go hand in hand with the other in the early days of the electric surge, but things have changed since then. Nowadays you can have fast but boring family saloons or SUVs packed with electric motors and batteries, or high-power ridiculously expensive EV hypercars and everything in between. But what if you’re looking to have proper fun in a car, and want it to produce zero exhaust fumes in the process? The new Meyers Manx 2.0 EV might just be the thing for you!
The meyers manx
If you check out the Meyers Manx website, the story of the Manx is summarized with a quote by Bruce F. Meyers, the creator of the car; “I’m an artist and I wanted to bring a sense of movement and gesture to the Manx. Dune buggies have a message: Fun. They’re playful to drive and should look like it. Nothing did at the time.” This perfectly sums up everything the Meyers Manx was, and still is. It’s all about genuine motoring fun, experiences that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Of course, there’s far more to the story of the Manx (as we’ve explained before) but we’ll take you through the basics once more. Bruce Meyers had no experience building cars but relied on his boatbuilding expertise to create what would be a symbol of freedom for a lot of people. Built between 1964 and 1971, the Meyers Manx is probably the best-known, and most loved beach car ever made. It uses the underpinnings of the humble Volkswagen Beetle, including the boxer engine, but is draped with an open-top fibreglass body kit. The quirky-looking car had a raised suspension system and beefy off-road tires all around. Despite the very modest levels of power the Beetle engine made, the Manx was quite good for thrashing through sand dunes and cruising along beaches.
The original Meyers Manx, known as “Old Red” even managed to break the record for the Ensenada to La Paz rally by a massive five hours. This gruelling event would later become known as the Baja 1000 and stretched for a thousand miles across unforgiven off-road tracks. Production stopped after about 6000 Manx’s hit the road. Almost 30 years later, around the turn of the millennium, it would be resurrected by the man himself, and continue to bring joy to motoring enthusiasts with a modern version of the legendary kit car. Bruce F. Meyers passed away last year at the age of 94, but his legacy lives on.
Life’s a beach 2.0
Just before his passing, Bruce Meyers sold the rights to the Manx to Phippip Sarofim and designer Freeman Thomas in order to not let the Manx die with him. And low and behold, we now have the new Meyers Manx 2.0 EV, a modernized and electrified version of the fun little beach cruiser. The new Meyers Manx 2.0 EV looks like a restomod but isn’t one in reality. Yes, it might look like a nipped and tucked Manx from the outside, and you’d expect it to use the VW Beetle chassis as a starting point but it’s actually a completely new vehicle. Sure, the inspiration for the body and design comes from the original Manx but it’s more a reimagination of the original Manx if it were to be penned today. Contrary to previous Manx’s, which were kit cars essentially, this is the first turn-key vehicle built by Meyers under the new management.
And boy oh boy does it look fantastic! The Manx 2.0 EV is a completely redesigned car, styled to look like the original Manx but with a far more modern edge to it. The most notable change is the absence of that iconic VW Beetle engine with some weirdly wonderful blast pipes sticking out the back. Other than that, this is very much a 2.0 version of the original Manx from every single angle. Everything that made the Manx such an absolute riot of a car is there. Big wheels, frog-eye headlights, the bathtub body, and the option to drive it without a top of course. Without the hard-top cover, two roll bars protect you in case you are a bit too eager and flip it. Despite its delicious retro look, there’s much more to the Manx 2.0 EV than just a redesigned shell.
It uses an all-aluminium chassis with an independent suspension all around. Braking is done with disc brakes on all four wheels and a regenerative system on the rear brakes to recoup some energy to extend the range as much as possible. The name already hints at the drivetrain of this latest generation of the Manx, and we’ve already mentioned it in the intro; it has an electric drivetrain. Not every little detail is revealed as of yet, but Meyers offers two different battery packs. The first is a 20kWh battery with about 150 miles of range (no horsepower or torque figures are known at this time), and the second one is twice as large with a range of 300 miles per charge (202bhp and 240lb-ft of torque, which equates to 325nm. More than enough for a few hours of fun in the sun.
Further performance figures are scarce, other than the fact that Meyers Manx 2.0 EV can cover the zero to 100kph sprint in an estimated 4.5 seconds when you opt for the bigger pack. Meyers also announced a Beta-test program for early pre-orders, following a USD 500 deposit. The first 50 cars under the Beta program are scheduled for 2023 delivery, and by 2024 the Manx should be readily available to anyone (depending on supply versus demand of course). No price is set yet, as development is still in progress.
For more information, please visit MeyersManx.com