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by Tim Beissmann

A modern take on the iconic Moke will hit local roads in 2014 with the help of an entrepreneurial Australian company.

The ‘Classic Moke’ is the result of a collaboration between Melbourne-based Moke International, Chinese car maker Chery Motors and subsidiary Sicar Engineering, and will see the nameplate return to the market 50 years after the introduction of the original Mini-based beach buggy.

Launching at Bondi Beach next month before going on sale in early 2014, the Moke will cost from $22,990 before on-road costs, making it around the same price as a conventional small hatchback.

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Powering the Moke will be a Chery-sourced 50kW/93Nm 1.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which can be teamed with either a manual or automatic transmission.

Like the original, the Classic Moke will be doorless and roofless, and will also make do without ABS, electronic stability control and airbags, though the local distributor says it has been engineered to “comply with modern performance and safety standards”.

The platform is unrelated to the old model and the new retro-styled body is longer and wider than its predecessor, offering standard seating for two and the option of two additional passenger seats in the rear with three-point seatbelts.

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Moke International is also planning to launch a pure-electric model, dubbed the ‘eMoke’, sometime after the rollout of the conventional petrol-powered variant. The distributor says the eMoke will have a top speed of 60km/h and a range of 120km.

Production of the original Moke started in England in 1964. The Morris Mini Moke and Leyland Moke were built in Australia between 1966 and 1981. Manufacturing was transferred to Portugal and continued until 1993 when it came to a close after 29 years and production of more than 50,000 vehicles.




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