Moke International

Of all the bodystyles that Minis have worn over the years – and there have been a lot of them – few have attained the kind of cult status as the Moke. A sort of quirky take on the beach buggy, the Mini Moke was marketed by various concerns until 1993, the year before BMW bought the brand and later relaunched production with its neo-retro design.

Ever since then, Mini has toyed with the idea of bringing back the Moke, and even showcased the Beachcomber concept in the style of the Moke at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. But it opted instead to go with the Paceman crossover coupe with its fixed roof.

A certain cadre of enthusiasts may have been disappointed, but they'll be glad to know that they can still get their hands on a continuation of the classic from Moke International. In partnership with Sicar Engineering and Chinese automaker Chery Motors, the Moke is back (sans the Mini name that belongs to BMW) with a reinterpreted form by British designer Michael Young. It's got room for four, an integrated ice cooler, but no doors, roof or windows, staying true to the original design brief.

Power comes from a naturally-aspirated 1.0-liter four with less than 50 horsepower. Mated to a five-speed manual, it drives the front wheels to reach a top speed quoted at 68 miles per hour. There's also an electric-powered eMoke with an unspecified powertrain that's said to propel it up to 37 mph and for as long as 75 miles on a single charge. In other words, it's not going anywhere fast, but still, upgraded suspension and brakes are always appreciated. Only 1,000 cars are slated to be produced each year, available in one of six exterior shades, four interior trims and two fabric roof colors.
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