New Mini Moke Goes On Sale In The USA As Upmarket Electric Car

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It's the perfect car for EV-friendly California.

Moke International (MI) arrived on the scene in 2013, breathing new life into Sir Alec Issigonis' Mini-based military vehicle. The first batch was launched in Australia, and in later years, MI started targeting the ultra-rich in Europe.

Now it's returning to the USA, 40 years after the original Moke was sold in the USA. As is the norm these days, it's an EV. The Electric Moke Californian will be the only highway-legal Moke available in the USA and the only genuine Mini Moke on sale in the USA. Moke International has owned the rights to the Moke trademark since 1964, so if you want the real deal, you either go classic or buy one of these.

Or you can always go the boring route and get a Mini Cooper Convertible or Cooper Countryman.

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The American Moke is hand-built to the same standards as the expensive European version but renamed the Californian as a tribute to the classic Moke Californian sold here between 1977 and 1982.

California is also the only place where it will work. According to MI, the American version will arrive with a top speed of 50 mph and a range of 80 miles. That's enough range to drive Route 101 from Malibu to Santa Barbara. The Moke needs to be plugged in for four hours at a US Type 1 charger when you get there.

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"This is a momentous time for Moke International. It's great to be able to offer the US market a genuine Moke car for the first time in 40 years. The original Moke Californian represented an incredibly important chapter in the company's rich history; we are proud that the Moke lives on and can be enjoyed in the electric era," said Isobel Dando, CEO of Moke International.

The EV Moke is equipped with a 43-horsepower motor, which gets it to 60 mph in LOL. The top speed is rated at 50 mph. As a result, a new performance metric was required. Instead of the usual 0-60 mph, MI claims a 0-34 mph time of 4.3 seconds. The claimed curb weight is 1,764 pounds.

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There are some key differences between the new Moke EV and the original. The 1977 Moke was equipped with the famous 1,275-cc naturally aspirated four-cylinder producing 57 hp.

The car weighed just 1,278 lbs, most of which was right over the front wheels. It was a front-wheel-drive car and quite handy off-road thanks to robust shocks borrowed from a van. If you took the right line and had no mechanical sympathy, it could go almost anywhere. The EV is rear-wheel-drive, so don't expect the same.

Further details on when the Californian will go on sale in the US, as well as pricing, will follow in the coming weeks.

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