Following its electric makeover, the the reborn Moke brand has opened a flagship store in the French Riviera.
Revived British automotive brand Moke has opened a flagship store in Saint-Tropez, offering prospective buyers the chance to explore its all-electric model while sunning themselves on the French Riviera.
‘Casa Moke’ looks like the exotic set of a James Bond film rather than a stodgy car showroom, with 1960s-inspired styling, abstract artworks, and designer furniture.
The reborn company also announced a new website that allows customers in the United Kingdom and Europe to configure and pre-order an electric Moke for a refundable £990 (AU$1729) fee.
However, Australian Moke fanatics shouldn’t hold their breath for a local revival – at least not on public roads.
Despite repeated promises the brand will make its way back to Australia, it’s unlikely the new Moke will meet the latest safety standards required to be road-legal Down Under.
For starters, the modern Moke has no airbags, lacks modern side impact crash protection, and is missing other safety aids such as autonomous emergency braking – although Moke claims the rear bench seat is compatible with Isofix child seats.
When quizzed as to whether the brand could face challenges in meeting Australian Design Rules, a Moke spokesperson told Drive: “The electric Moke is currently built to comply with M1 small series homologation requirements, which means it does not have airbags but does ensure front impact crumple zones, steering wheel collapse, etc.
“From discussions with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, we believe that there could be the opportunity to sell limited volumes of electric Mokes that comply with the relevant ADRs. We will review this further after the launch in the EU.”
The price could also prove prohibitive to plenty of buyers, with the glorified golf buggy kicking off from an eye-watering £34,980, or $AU61,114.
Still, the brand is insistent an Australian launch is planned, and that the wait “won’t be very long” – even if only for well-heeled Moke buyers who can drive it on their large private property.
“Australia is absolutely a key market for Moke, there will be dealers and a website in time. Exactly what the sales network will look like and how long that will be, I am not sure, but it won’t be very long. Key thing is, the new Electric Moke will be available in Australia at some point,” a spokesperson for Moke told Drive.
“The Electric Moke will primarily be positioned as a ‘beachhouse-to-waterfront’ shuttle vehicle. The ride of choice for morning surfs, hotel rental and trips to the beach.”
After the brand was revived in 2015, Moke made the shift to all-electric power in January 2022.
Soon after that it was acquired by Canada-based electrification company EV Technology Group, announcing plans to “expand into global markets”.
The company currently offers a single model – the electric Moke – which has a claimed electric range of 130km (“enough for four round trips across the Côte d’Azur”), a top speed of 80km/h, and a peak power output of 33kW.
The modern Moke weighs less than 800kg and can do the 0 to 55km/h dash in 4.5 seconds (about the same as a Toyota Corolla).
All modern Mokes are manufactured in a factory in Northamptonshire, England, and the brand is claiming a delivery time of at least 90 days for all UK orders.
The electric Moke is available to order in both left and right-hand drive, with plans to launch the model in the North American market later in 2022.
The Moke website allows buyers outside of the UK and Europe to pre-order a car and pay the deposit, and encourages prospective customers to “join the waiting list” and promises “as soon as we have confirmed the date about launching in your market, we will be in touch with more details”.
Susannah Guthrie has been a journalist since she was 18, and has spent the last two years writing about cars for Drive, CarAdvice, CarSales and as a motoring columnist for several in-flight and hotel magazines. Susannah’s background is news journalism, followed by several years spent in celebrity journalism, entertainment journalism and fashion magazines and a brief stint hosting a travel TV show for Channel Ten. She joined Drive in 2020 after spending a year and a half at the helm of Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE’s online platforms. Susannah holds a Bachelor in Media and Communications from the University of Melbourne and cut her teeth as an intern for Time Inc in New York City. She has also completed a television presenting course with the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and her one-year-old son who, despite her best efforts, does not yet enjoy a good road trip.