The dune buggy has been an unique piece of car culture since the mid ’60s, but not overplayed like vintage ‘Vettes plus Mustangs. From Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway’s beach romp in the original Thomas Crown Affair to the improbable dune buggy assault on James Bond in For Your Eyes Only decades later, the car adds levity to any drive.
Now the dune buggy is back, fully electric yet utterly recognizable, as the particular.
Sticking to its roots
The particular 1964 Meyers Manx was the original dune pushchair , developed by Bruce Meyers in the crucible associated with post-war LA car tradition, art school and DIY attitude. It was such a sensation that scads of other companies offered similar kits to build over VW chassis and Meyers failed in order to patent the particular design. By 1971 he was out of the game.
The original Manx never looked as finished and complete as the new version, largely because the Manx 2. 0 has already been refreshed by a serious car designer, Freeman Jones, whose pen you know from the initial Audi TT and New Beetle . In spite of that will and the particular car’s authentic roots in Volkswagen hardware, the Manx 2. 0 has no connection to VW and is backed by Trousdale Ventures chairman Phillip Sarofim.
You may be surprised that the new Manx’ electric conversion will be almost the least interesting aspect to me.
A triumph of restraint
The body is instantly recognizable because a correct dune buggy devoid associated with any silly effort to contort it into an utility, a four-seater or a “reimagined” product like the redux FJ Cruiser or the thankfully shelved VOLKS WAGEN attempt at a modern dune buggy . In this, the Manx 2 . 0 relies on Freeman Thomas’ experience faithfully carrying over the Brand new Beetle. But the brand new Manx sheds the rough edges of the original, appropriate for a more upscale 21st century buyer who is usually less comprehending from the rugged fun we once had on four wheels. Kit cars aren’t really a thing any more, and safety definitely is.
I overheard more than one person at the car’s Pebble Beach debut say that it was their favorite thing on the green at Quail , which may have caused some chafing under the particular jodhpurs of Bentley at the adjacent stage .
I was delighted by the ample chrome on the Manx two. 0, the big part of the car’s authenticity: The roll bar, windshield frame, bumper bars plus headlight buckets all sparkle with a correct finish little seen in autos today.
A charming place to sit
Under either the forward pivoting rigid top, soft bikini top or even no best at all, you’ll find a cabin (if you can call something this particular open the cabin) that exercises admirable restraint.
No big LCD screen or console full associated with tech, just a central dinner plate speedo embedded with the small, round LCD, flanked by a few narrow futuristic buttons that will I think are the particular only misstep in design.
The particular seats are truly buckets and getting into them involves stepping more than into the tub, which has no doors. That bathtub will have monocoque crash integrity that was in no way found in the original, along with crumple zones and a modern safety steering column. The aforementioned move bar and windshield frame are structural rollover security elements.
Out back, things have changed
The most memorable single detail of the unique dune buggy was its exposed Beetle engine in the rear, full of rotating parts and cartoonish exhaust plumbing that created a show. That’s all gone with electric power but covered nicely within new bodywork that seems to be where Freeman Thomas the majority of earned a lot of his keep.
Two electric motors drive the rear wheels just, helping to keep the car’s weight under 1, 600 pounds. The front wheels are busy responding in order to electrical power steering, an unheard-of luxury in the first that demanded good triceps.
As with many EVs, you can buy your battery capacity: 150 miles or 300, the latter configuration delivering a projected 0-to-60 time of 4. 5 seconds. Not knowing pricing, the 150-mile vehicle makes the many sense to me; I don’t see driving anything this al fresco farther than that and think lighter weight is the better part of valor.
How to get one
Preorders for the car opened up in August of 2022 via a refundable deposit, though the price is still not known. The company plans to release the first 50 copies in order to what this considers passionate beta buyers, before somewhat fuller production happens within 2024.
Having not driven a prototype, I can’t say if too much primary charm is definitely lost in the move to quiet, less distinctive energy; It would have been cheeky to see the company thumb the nose in current automotive dogma plus release the particular Manx 2. 0 with a potent turbo DI inline 3 , yet the writing’s on the wall and that sort of fun is best left to someone restoring an original Manx.
We see enough smart, savvy interpretation of the past within the Meyers Manx 2. 0 that I’ll prioritize driving one for you when they come out.