The original Meyers Manx, the first “dune buggy”, was a kit car built on a modified VW Beetle chassis with a fiberglass body. He was popular in desert racing in the 1960s, although the company went bankrupt in 1971. Bruce Meyers, the founder, brought the company back in 1999 and unveiled the electric prototype in 2014. The company was sold to venture capital Trousdale in 2020.
Now it is back with an electric version, which was presented for the first time last week at a private event in Malibu.
Although we don’t know the prices yet, Meyers started taking deposits of $ 500 apiece today. Deposits are fully refundable.
The company is also looking for interest in its “beta program”, in which 50 early owners agree to drive their car with minimal mileage under various conditions for a period of 12 months. The “beta pioneers” will regularly share feedback with Meyers to help improve a product that is capable of updating over the air.
Meyers posted some new photos today, including studio photos of the car. Check them out:
We also got a better idea of how the car can be stored. As you can see in the photos above, there is a storage compartment under the hood – but it only houses the spare wheel and tools.
Behind the seats there is a rear storage compartment which is covered with a hinged roof but not lockable. You can see it in action in these shots from the Malibu reveal:
Meyers has yet to finalize the specs, but has provided some estimates. The Manx 2.0 will be available with 20kWh and 40kWh battery options, with a 40kWh battery in 0-60 condition in 4.5 seconds. They will have an estimated range of 150 and 300 miles respectively, quite a lot for those tiny batteries – but the car itself is tiny after all, only 1,500 or 1,650 pounds, depending on the size of the battery.
It may sound a bit silly that early adopters of the product will essentially be enrolled in the “job” of driving around and helping the company to test, but it’s actually not unheard of in the EV space.
While Meyers calls this program “first of its kind”, in 2009 a similar program existed with the original BMW Mini E. Applicants answered a number of questions, and BMW invited around 500 people to lease these early electric vehicles and provide feedback. This led to the BMW ActiveE program, and later to the BMW i3, which provided feedback from early “pioneers” and “electron cars”.
Several of the ‘pioneers’ in this program are still connected and gaining positions in the electric vehicle industry – for example, the author whose words you are just reading. The Mini E is where I started my electric car journey and it was a nice ride.
Even with other “non-beta” cars, early EV owners often felt a bit like informal beta testers – even the Tesla Model 3, the third generation vehicle, underwent a lot of changes initially based on previous owner feedback. Tesla controllers are now also acting as beta testers of Tesla’s FSD software, many years after paying thousands of dollars for the software they are still waiting for.
So, considering this is Meyers’ first EV, it’s not really unexpected.
As for the car itself – I’ve learned while driving the Mini E that I love small electric two-seater seats without a lot of cargo space, so it looks like this one is in my way. So, if you want to match your Meyers Manx 2.0 deposit, you will be behind me.
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