Meyers starts making $500 deposits, seeking beta testers for electric Manx 2.0 dune buggy

Meyers starts making $500 deposits, seeking beta testers for electric Manx 2.0 dune buggy

Meyers has started taking deposits for its upcoming electric dune buggy, the Meyers Manx 2.0, which is expected to ship in 2024. The company is also interested in a 2023 “beta program” for 50 early buyers that will help provide feedback before full production.

The original Meyers Manx, the first “dune buggy”, was a kit car built on a modified VW Beetle chassis with a fiberglass body kit. It was popular in desert racing in the 1960s, although the company closed down in 1971. Bruce Meyers, the founder, brought the company back in 1999 and showed off an electric prototype in 2014. The company was sold to venture capital firm Trousdale in 2020.

It’s now back with an electric version, first unveiled last week at a private event in Malibu.

Although we don’t know the prices yet, Meyers started taking deposits today, at $500 each. Deposits are fully refundable.

The company is also seeking interest in its “beta program,” where 50 early owners agree to drive their car under a variety of conditions for a minimum mileage over a 12-month period. “Beta Pioneers” will regularly share feedback with Meyers to help improve the product, which is capable of over-the-air updates.

Meyers released some new photos today, including studio shots of the car. Check them out:

We also got a better idea of ​​the car’s storage options. As you can see from the photos above, there is a storage area under the hood – but it only contains a spare wheel and tools.

Behind the seats is a storage space in the rear, which is covered by the tilting roof, but is not lockable. You can get an idea of ​​how it works in these shots of the Malibu reveal:

Meyers hasn’t finalized the specs yet, but did share some estimates. The Manx 2.0 will be available with 20kWh and 40kWh battery options, with the 40kWh battery capable of 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. These have an estimated range of 150 and 300 miles respectively, quite a lot for these small batteries – but after all, the car itself is small, only 1,500 or 1,650 lbs, depending on the battery size.

Electrek’s Take

It might sound a little crazy that early buyers of a product are essentially signed up for a “job” to drive around and help the company with testing, but this isn’t exactly unheard of in the EV space.

Although Meyers calls this program a “first of its kind,” there was a similar program in 2009 with the original BMW Mini E. Applicants answered a series of questions, and BMW invited about 500 people to lease these early EVs and provide feedback. This led to BMW’s ActiveE program and later to the BMW i3, which incorporated some feedback from early ‘Pioneers’ and ‘Electronauts’.

Several of that program’s “Pioneers” are still in touch and have landed positions in the EV industry — like the author whose words you’re reading now. The Mini E is where I started my EV journey, and it was quite a ride.

Even for other “non-beta” cars, early EV owners often felt a bit like casual beta testers — even the Tesla Model 3, a third-generation vehicle, has seen a lot of changes in the beginning based on early feedback from the owner . Tesla drivers also currently act as beta testers for Tesla’s FSD software, years after paying thousands of dollars for software they’re still waiting for.

So, considering this is Meyers’ first EV, this isn’t exactly unexpected.

As for the car itself – I’ve learned from driving the Mini E that I love small electric two-seaters without a lot of cargo space, so this one seems to be right up my alley. So if you want to be in line with a Meyers Manx 2.0 deposit, you’re behind me.

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