This Mini Moke-based prototype has a Maserati V8
It was made by the French mad scientist Ludovic Lazareth
Some of you may already be familiar with the mad creations of Ludovic Lazareth. He's already given us such wonderful pieces of insanity as this Maserati-engined quadbike/motorbike, this continuation of the quadbike/motorbike concept that's even madder and this flying motorcycle. You can guess where this man's trajectory is headed then. Whatever's going to come after these creations is going to be just as mad, if not madder. Well, it seems like his next installment of madness has now arrived.
Back in 2017, Lazareth had announced that he would be building a series of amphibious cars based on short wheelbase versions of the Mini Moke. Unfortunately this didn't seem to happen, but recently a prototype of one of these Mini Mokes has surfaced. True to Lazareth's form, this car is absolutely crazy. For a start, it has a 4.7-litre Maserati engine that develops 454 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. It also uses the original Maserati sequential gearbox. This is all packaged in a car that only weighs 850 kg!
Just like the original version of the Mini Moke, Lazareth's modern recreation is designed to be as simple as possible. The driver only gets a single speedometer in front of them, it has a very simple steering wheel and steering column with no buttons or accessories really except for the paddles for the Maserati gearbox. The seats are also very simple and don't look like they offer a lot of restraint or support either. The exterior looks broadly similar to the original Moke's design, the only concession to modernity being the 17-inch alloy wheels that look almost oversized on such a small car! It's all finished off in a military green style paintjob with very utilitarian-feeling big black (plastic?) bumpers.
Whilst this bonkers Mini Moke isn't road legal yet, it can be driven on private land or on a racetrack. That's probably the safest place for such an insane creation to be, to be honest. That is, unless Lazareth decides to give it doors or some other kind of concessions to safety. That's something that, let's face it, he's probably not going to do, because the man is clearly as mad as a box of frogs.
If you think you're brave enough, you can actually buy one of these right now. As much as this crazy creation appeals to my love of all things quirky and mental, I think I might be passing up a chance to own this one...