Update: It now seems the answer is, probably not. Apparently Mr Houghton-Berry himself emailed sales managers across the UK to specifically say there is no substance to the following story from AutoExpress and that the Moke won't ever make it into production. So please read the following AutoExpress story with that in mind! Here's an excerpt of the original piece:
We've been receiving 'Moke' signals for a while, and now the main man at MINI has admitted that the firm has plans to build a new version, true to the style of the original.
Speaking at a conference to mark half a million MINIs being built at Cowley, boss Trevor Houghton-Berry said: “Additional models will be part of the second-generation production plan, and these could include a two-seater cabriolet, a retro-style Countryman estate and I would really love to build a MINI Moke.”
We've learned that the car will be a full four-seater, based on the Cabriolet. According to inside sources, prototype versions of the Moke are already being tested, and the new model could appear in showrooms in less than three years. The newcomer will sit on a front-wheel-drive platform, but the ride height will be increased by two inches to allow for better ground clearance.
The doors will be cut low, as on the original, while it will also feature van-style access at the rear and cut-out panels in the side to give it a rugged look. Chunky black plastic bumpers and sill protectors will add to the appearance, as will a small chrome nudge bar up front to protect the radiator grille.
…The newcomer is expected to go on sale in 2007, but a concept version could be seen at a motor show as early as next year. This would help gauge public opinion and confirm whether or not a production model would be a viable proposition. Assuming it will get the green light, which seems more than likely given the immense popularity of other MINI variants since the model's 2001 launch, it will cost about £1,000 more than the equivalent MINI Cabriolet.
You can read the entire article here. AutoExpress is available throughout the UK and at various bookstores in the rest of Europe and the US.
BTW here's the official MINI Moke sketch referenced in the article. It was released several years ago and dates back quite a few years in total. It was first posted on MotoringFile almost two years ago… [Moke Concept].
Top photo courtesy of AutoExpress. And yes that is a Photoshop job based on an official publicity photo from MINI.