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The long-lasting Meyers Manx dune buggy makes it return as an EV – TechCrunch


The Meyers Manx, the enduring 50-year-old dune buggy that’s been copied hundreds of instances, is formally making its return in 2023. However this time round, it’s electrical.

The Meyers Manx 2.0, which debuted Monday at an occasion in Malibu, will launch because of enterprise capitalist Phillip Sarofim and famed automotive designer Freeman Thomas, say they’re dedicated to bringing again the dune buggy that’s intimately linked to California’s surf historical past.

“I feel in some methods I’m, I’m connecting to my childhood,” Sarofim, the CEO and founding father of Trousdale Ventures, the VC agency that purchased Meyers Manx from Bruce Meyers in 2020, instructed TechCrunch, “I feel the Meyers Manx represents a lot. It’s an emblem of, of enjoyable, of purity, of simplicity, and it additionally represents Nineteen Sixties California optimism, and we need to carry that again.”

The Meyers Manx 2.0: An electrical dune buggy

Particulars are nonetheless very sparse on the little machine. The tl;dr is that it seems lots like the enduring dune buggy designed greater than 50 years in the past; the true change is what’s beneath.

“We needed to ensure to attempt to maintain the very same footprint of the unique automobile dimensionally,” Sarofim mentioned, “However, the whole lot is completely different besides the housing for the headlights. These two spherical items are the one factor that continues to be the identical. Every little thing else has been re-engineered.”

The Meyers Manx 2.0 will include two completely different energy choices: a 20 kWh battery with round 150 miles of all-electric vary or a 40 kWh battery with an organization estimated 300 miles of vary.

The facility comes from lithium-ion pouch batteries with an built-in battery administration system. It should weigh an estimated 1,500 kilos with the smaller battery and round 1,650 kilos with the bigger one. A pair of rear-wheel-mounted electrical motors ought to make the Manx 2.0 a blast to drive. The corporate says in its checks with the 40 kWh battery pack, the brand new automobile will do 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds.

The corporate hasn’t launched any pricing info, however it plans to solely make 50 of those automobiles as 2023 fashions. Extra particulars can be obtainable when pre-orders open after the official launch at The Quail Motorsports Gathering occasion in Carmel, California, later this month.

“Lots of new startups need to get huge, quick, and we’re low quantity,” Thomas mentioned. “We’re beginning off strolling earlier than we run. That’s the primary cause we need to do the 50 automobiles is that these are going to change into extra like check drivers. These are folks that we’ll have relationships with. We are going to work out all of the bugs and be sure that it’s excellent. After which, slowly, we’ll start ramping up. And I feel that due to that, it’s going to be just a little little bit of an unique product to start with.” Each Sarofim and Thomas did say that the Manx 2.0 will get over-the-air updates as soon as they start to get suggestions from preliminary clients.

This isn’t the primary time that the Meyers Manx has proven up with an electrified powertrain. Bruce Meyers constructed and confirmed off an electrical prototype in 2014. In keeping with the press launch, the present firm has paired with a “U.S.-based manufacturing entity” to provide and manufacture the Manx 2.0. Trousdale, Sarofim’s VC agency, is a shareholder in Coreshell, an organization that has scaled the method of coating the within of an EV battery for industrial manufacturing. The coating lengthens battery lifecycles and lowers the probabilities of battery fires.

When pressed for particulars about their manufacturing associate, Sarofim acknowledged, “Our manufacturing partnership is a non-exclusive one, and it’s not with a automotive maker per se. Yeah. So it’s a excellent relationship, a symbiotic one, a pleasant one and we’re, we’re actually excited. It permits us to stand up to hurry in a a lot sooner method.”

The group behind Meyers Manx 2.0

Trousdale Ventures bought the Meyers Manx, Inc. immediately from the founder, Bruce Meyers in 2020, only a few months earlier than he handed away at age 94 in 2021. He and Freeman Thomas, the designer behind iconic automobiles like the enduring Audi TT and the Volkswagen New Beetle (the one from 1997), met on the well-known and controversial Malibu Vehicles & Espresso.

Sarofim says he drove a Manx to the impromptu automotive present the place Freeman approached him in regards to the little dune buggy. Each Sarofim and Freeman are automotive fanatics, and Thomas mentioned he requested Sarofim if he’d ever met Bruce Meyers. From there, the 2 visited Meyers in his California house, and the three of them turned quick associates. Sarofim says that Meyers was in his 90s on the time.

“We spent a few hours simply hanging out.” Sarofim mentioned, “And Bruce mentioned, you understand, I feel you all can buy my firm. And I believed, I don’t know that I essentially need to be within the automotive enterprise. After which, a yr had transpired and I known as Freeman and I mentioned, we now have to do that. We now have to do that. And we bought along with Bruce and per week later, we, we owned the corporate.”

Manx has about 50 full-time staff at the moment, in response to Thomas, who’s the CEO and COO of Meyers Manx, at present. “I’ve designers which can be coming from Porsche, from Audi, from Volkswagen, that simply wanna be a part of Manx,” Thomas mentioned. “In some humorous method, we have gotten the “It” model amongst designers.”

The target market for the Manx 2.0 would be the rich with a number of houses and a number of vehicles. “What can be actually compelling is that you may be capable to go away it in your storage for months and months on finish. If it’s at your trip home and abruptly you come there, there’s no smells, there’s no, you understand, oil dripping,” Thomas mentioned. “All you do is go. It”s like your laptop computer, you open it up and it’s able to go.”

Sarofim and Thomas each say that the Manx 2.0 received’t be the one automobile you may see from the revitalized firm, nonetheless. “We do produce other automobiles coming that can be unveiled within the subsequent, I imply, coming years, and we do intend to succeed in new clients and new audiences, and completely different use instances as effectively,” Sarofim mentioned. “However you understand, who’s the perfect Meyers buyer, I feel is the true query. It’s simply somebody who loves vehicles and has this spark of their eye and goals with optimism. I feel that’s the client. Yeah. Somebody who has a love of journey.”

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