In fact, they plan to bring the Moke back, starting with a limited production run of 1000 units, all of which have reportedly been sold; in Australia.
(Australia manufactured nearly 30,000 Mokes for the local market and for export in the late-60s and 70s.)
Locally, the new car will be sold as the “Classic Moke” and distributed by Moke Enterprises in Melbourne, but distributors have been sourced in other countries.
Available in both left- and right-hand-drive, power for the new Moke comes from Chery’s liquid cooled 1.0 litre three-cylinder petrol engine, producing 50kW and 93Nm.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard but it's also available with an automatic transmission.
Top speed is estimated at 110km/h, while a 0-100km/h time has yet to be tested. Fuel tank capacity is 30 litres and the Moke is offered with a one-year, 15,000km warranty.
The Moke was killed in most markets (notably Australia) by the cost of increasingly onerous safety demands and buyer perception that the open bare-bones Moke was unsafe.
While the new model has sought to address some of the safety shortcomings, there are no driver nor passenger airbags, and no ESP or ABS to speak of (at least not yet).
There is however three-point seatbelts for all four seats (the rear seats themselves are optional), while handling is said to be improved over Mokes of yesteryear.
Front brakes are now nine-inch discs with drum brakes on the rear, and the Moke sits upon 13-inch alloy wheels.
“As a Moke enthusiast, when the email came asking if I was interested to talk about the project it was more like a call for duty,” Moke designer Michael Young said.
“You must remember that this car is from the '70s, I knew for a fact there was no way we could just replicate it, times have changed and the car needed enhancements, improved road holding, braking, suspension and so on.”
The Classic Moke may just be the beginning of the Mini sub-brand’s revival, with plans for an electric-powered eMoke in the near future.
Pricing for the Classic Moke is yet to be confirmed but Moke International is taking enquiries from potential customers via its website. The approval process for a limited import program is yet to be finalised in Australia.