Love It or Hate It, the Meyers Manx Dune Buggy Is Going Electric

Love It or Hate It, the Meyers Manx Dune Buggy Is Going Electric

03/07/2022

The Meyers Manx, American’s old-school, spunky, fun-having dune buggy that spawned a plethora of look-alikes, is going electric. After you’ve thrown banana peels and booed us off the stage, remember, we’re just the messengers. The electrification of the Meyers Manx, which essentially consists of a shortened classic VW Beetle chassis wrapped in a nifty fiberglass roadster body, is the future.

Before his death in February 2021 at age 94, Bruce Meyers, creator of the Meyers Manx, made sure the future of his company (which would be called Meyers Manx, LLC) was in good hands by selling it to Trousdale Ventures under Phillip Sarofim (Chairman) and Freeman Thomas (CEO and Chief Creative Officer). Sarofim, a venture capitalist who happens to be passionate about vehicles, and Thomas, former designer at VW, Audi, and Porsche, formed a suitable duo for the future of the Manx.

How does this factor into the electrification of the Meyers Manx, an idea that was an option from the very beginning for the new owners? Coreshell, a tech firm in which Sarofim invested, creates a coating that protects a battery’s cathode and anode. This protective nanocoating prolongs the life of a lithium-ion battery while increasing usable capacity and reducing the risk of fire. All good things for a battery. Coreshell isn’t the only player in this technology of coating the inside of a battery, but the company claims scalability in integrating this into battery production. And with his new Manx connection, we suppose, it makes sense there would be some tech crossover among Sarofil’s automotive investments.

The electric Meyers Manx promises to respectfully retain the spirit and personality of its predecessor. It’ll look like a Manx, retain its original size, hide all its EV bits, and remind nostalgic fans of the Manx of old. Maybe we’ll see some cues from the retro-tastic electric VW ID Buggy concept, which took cues from the original (gas-powered) Manx.

Its internals, however, would be totally reworked to accept the new powertrain. Even though the new Manx is potentially years from hitting the market, its design, development, and testing of the next-gen Manx are underway. According to Autoweek, the EV Meyers Manx should have about 240 hp (180 kw) and a range of about 200 miles, although battery size is unknown. It should weight about 1,600 to 1,700 pounds, which is an increase of about 400 pounds over the original. The goal is a Manx that’s relaxing rather than aggressive, capable both on- and off-road.

It’ll have hardtop, soft top, and Bimini top options. It’ll be safe, too, with front and rear crush zones, side impact zones, and a unobtrusive roll bar that wraps around the windshield.

If everything goes according to plan, we should get a glimpse of new electric Manx running prototypes by next year. And for the gas-loving folk, the plan is to re-introduce the Volkswagen engine’d Manx as a kit car after the launch of the EV Manx. Cheers to the next chapter of the Meyers Manx. We can (probably) all agree that if keeping legacy of the iconic Manx alive means ditching its gas-fed heart, then an electric heart transplant is a must.

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