Floatin' along in my automobile...
The freedom of a vehicle that works on land and in the water is undeniably cool. The French automaker Lazareth now injects extra style into this already fun concept by building an amphibious craft out of the classic Mini Moke.
The original Moke was the British Motor Corporation's effort to turn the Mini into an off-road vehicle, and they became rather popular as beach buggies in seaside resort towns. Lazareth plays on this idea by building a version that can go from the sand to the water.
The Lazareth Moke features a 400cc single-cylinder, water-cooled engine that makes 19 horsepower (14.2 kilowatts) for road duty and 6 hp (4.5 kW) from the propeller when in the water. This gives the vehicle a top speed on land of 56 miles per hour (90 kilometers per hour) and the ability to reach 7 knots (8 miles per hour) in the waves. The low power qualifies the Moke as a quadricycle in France and categorizes it as a dinghy, meaning a boat license isn't necessary.
Driving this little cart appears incredibly easy. There's an automatic transmission and four-wheel drive for getting around on land. A twist of a dial switches to aquatic mode or to a setting for off-road motoring.
An aluminum body keeps weight low at just 970 pounds (440 kilograms) and inhibits the craft from rusting. There's enough room for two people inside.
Lazareth's website doesn't list a price for the amphibious Moke but says that the vehicle is available now. This thing would be a ton of fun to drive while there's still some warm weather left.
While it doesn't work on water, a firm in the United States is now offering an electric version of the Moke, appropriately called the eMoke. The model falls into the low-speed Neighborhood Electric Vehicle classification, so the top speed is just 25 mph (40 kph). Various battery options provide between 40 miles (64 kilometers) and 90 miles (145 kilometers) of range on a charge. Prices start at $15,975.