The Dune Buggy Returns! With an Electric Powertrain?

The original Meyers Manx dune buggy was such a hit the company created the Manx 2.0 and stuffed an electric powertrain in the rear. Stuffed might be a bit incorrect. The company built the new dune buggy to make it an electrified version of the original. The first Bruce Meyers versions were a huge hit during the 1960s and 70s, becoming something of a folklore icon and a vehicle that truly embodies the idea of beach fun.

Car and Driver loved the original dune buggy

Old Red- Early Meyers Manx Dune Buggy
Old Red- Early Meyers Manx Dune Buggy | Shutterstock

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In fact, Car and Driver liked it so much that the April 1967 issue of the magazine featured the Meyers Manx right on the cover. All that drove this vehicle gave it excited approval. This first dune buggy was a huge hit as a car that was:

“soul-freeing, leaping, bounding, uninhabited fun than anything else they’ve ever driven-on or off the road.”

Car and Driver Road Test Reviewers from 1967

What does the Manx 2.0 include?

Meyers Manx 2.0 Dune Buggy
Meyers Manx 2.0 Dune Buggy | Meyers Manx

The Manx 2.0, which arrives in 2023, follows the path that Bruce Meyers created for the original Dune buggy. This electric vehicle has a monocoque chassis shell, and it’s one of the lightest electric vehicles in the market, tipping the scales at a feathery 1,650 pounds.

This new version of the dune buggy offers two power options with either a 20-kWh battery that has 150 miles of range or a 40-kWh battery that doubles that number to 300 miles. The larger battery and motor setup delivers 202 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. The car’s estimated sprint time is 4.5 seconds to reach 60 mph.

Where are there design differences between the two dune buggies?

The original Meyers Manx that Bruce Meyers created used a Volkswagen Beetle engine hanging out the rear of the car. This engine was air-cooled and needed to be open to the wind while driving. This new build closes off the rear and provides enough cooling for the electric motors without the engine hanging out the back.

Even though the rear design is different, the Manx 2.0 is true to the legacy of the dune buggy. This car is light, strong on rough terrain, and designed to look like a dune buggy. In fact, when you see it, you can’t think it’s anything else. The new version features an independent rear suspension and regenerative braking, finishing off the quality build of this new beach cruiser.

A fitting way to carry the Meyers Manx legacy

Meyers Manx 2.0 Rear
Meyers Manx 2.0 Rear | Meyers Manx

Bruce Meyers no longer runs Meyers Manx. He sold the company shortly before his death in 2021 at age 94. Even so, Freeman Thomas, designer of the New Beetle and original Audi TT concept, joined the company and created the Manx 2.0. This new dune buggy is a fitting way to pay tribute to Bruce Meyers and his legacy.

How strong is Bruce Meyers’s legacy?

Without Bruce Meyers, who originally built sailboats and surfboards, we wouldn’t have the Meyers Manx Dune Buggy or the Baja 1000. Bruce Meyers built the first dune buggy out of a Beetle in his Newport Beach garage in 1964.

This car was a huge hit when it broke the time record for a run from Tijuana, Mexico, to La Paz over the rough terrain between these two locations. This drive became the first Baja 1000, also known as the Mexican 1000, in 1967, and the Meyers Manx was the winner.

Is this the first time around for an electric dune buggy?

Manx 2.0 Without Roof
Manx 2.0 Without Roof | Meyers Manx

No, Bruce partnered with a Las Vegan company in 2014 to build an electric concept called the Manx V. This version had an 86.3 horsepower engine and a top speed of 64 mph. Volkswagen also created a concept in 2019 called the I.D. Buggy.

A limited number of electric Dune Buggies to start with

The first batch of the new Manx 2.0 electric Dune Buggies will ship in 2023, and there will only be 50 of them. More shipments will follow based on the success of this first batch. Once this new beach cruiser becomes more popular, the company will add some options to make this new Meyers Manx more comfortable for owners.

The dune buggy is back! It’s electric and offers the same freedom as the original models from the 1960s. Is anyone else ready to head to the beach?

Next, check out some classic luxury SUVs that never die, or watch the new Meyers Manx 2.0 in the video below:

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