The cult-classic Meyers Manx – a Volkswagen Beetle-based beach buggy which dates back to the 1960s – has been reinvented as a retro-styled EV for 2023.

The first pictures appeared on Meyers’ official social media feeds overnight, ahead of a debut at Monterey Car Week in California later this month. Until then, details are thin on the ground, but clearly the company was committed to the spirit of the original Manx, and sought to preserve it even while swapping its air-cooled flat-four for batteries and electric motors.

The design of the Manx 2.0 – as it is called – holds true to the general design conceived in 1964 by the legendary Bruce Meyers, who sold the marque in late 2020 after 56 years at the helm, before passing away in March 2021 at the age of 94.

It is built around a familiar one-piece body shell – though its makers have not confirmed whether the new Manx is still a fibreglass construction – and apart from a lightly modernised rear end, deeper-dish steel wheels and an overhauled cabin, is difficult to tell apart from its namesake.

The creation is the work of Freeman Thomas, who became CEO of Meyers Manx LLC following its founder’s departure in 2020, working under new owner firm Trousdale Ventures. Thomas has worked as a designer for a raft of high-profile car marques, including Porsche, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Volkswagen – where, notably, he found fame in 1994 with his design for the radical Concept 1, which would evolve into the New Beetle later that decade.

He will give more details of the reinvented Manx next week, but previously spoke of his enthusiasm for the classic buggy’s design: “As a California native, I grew up on the beaches of Southern California, surrounded by its unique and creative lifestyle culture.  

“As I became an automotive designer, the philosophy of Bruce Meyers became a huge inspiration, and I’m sure I’m not alone in thanking him for injecting a huge dose of disruptive creativity into the automotive scene.”

Details given to US publication TechCrunch by Trousdale Ventures CEO Phillip Sarofim suggest that, despite the familiar look, the only unchanged elements of the Manx’s design are actually the headlight housings at the front.

He revealed the Manx 2.0 will be sold with a choice of 20kWh and 40kWh battery options, for a range of either 150 or 300 miles, which will send their reserves to a pair of motors at the rear capable of sending the open-sided EV from 0-60mph in a claimed 4.5sec. 

Depending on battery, the new Manx is claimed to weigh between 680kg and 750kg – which makes it one of the lightest road-legal EVs yet.


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