2023 Subaru Brat Rendered as Forester Pickup Truck

Pickup trucks are veritable cash cows for automakers in America, and buyers are beginning to warm up to the smaller models, which are cheaper and have fewer unnecessary features. But does that mean it's time for Subaru to think about bringing back the Brat?
2023 Subaru Brat Rendered as Forester Pickup Truck 2 photos
Photo: Kleber Silva/Behance
2023 Subaru Brat Rendered as Forester Pickup Truck
The Brat was made in the late 70s and 80s. It wasn't that powerful or all that practical but carried huge historical significance while also being a nifty little retro machine. Back then, Subaru wasn't the mass-market brand that appealed to every dog owner and college professor in the country. No, it made tiny little Japanese bubble cars and was hoping for some American cash.

A pickup truck made out of an existing family car was their cheap solution, but there was a problem - the chicken tax. American manufacturers didn't want any new-fangled imports encroaching on their turf, so they lobbied for a large tax on imports. Defiant, Subaru installed rear-facing plastic seats in the back, transforming the Brat into a car, at least on paper.

Oh, and by the way, it's not technically called the Brat, but the B.R.A.T. which is an acronym for Bi-drive Recreational All-Terrain Transport. And no, that's not their attempt at appealing to people with different sexual orientations; that's just how they said AWD in the old days.

As you can probably tell just by the shape, Brats weren't powerful muscle trucks. The engines of choice were either a 1.6L or a 1.8L, both in the flat-4 configuration, and there was even room for a spare tire under the hood. Of course, the rascal was eventually discontinued, but Subaru tried once again to boost sales by offering a pickup.

The Baja is pretty famous for something that was made only between 2002 and 2006. Essentially, this was an Outback with room for surfboards in the back. You couldn't fit an 8x4 piece of plywood, and prices were also pretty high, but that doesn't mean Subaru can't try again. Hyundai is going to launch the Santa Cruz pretty soon, and if that works, a brand new segment of SUV-based small trucks will open up. It would be a shame not to have the Forester rugged reliability in there, just like what we see in this rendering by Kleber Silva.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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