Indeed, ever since Hyundai dared to take a leap of faith and announce the production of the Santa Cruz model, many carmakers have pondered whether also to join the revived sector. By the time Hyundai finished planning all the details, one rival also joined them in that leap of faith, and Ford introduced the Maverick unibody pickup truck to America.
As it turns out, the latter was a lot more successful than the initial promoter of the sector's rebirth. Nowadays, everyone allegedly wants a piece of the action – from Ram with the upcoming North American Rampage to the potential return of the Toyota Stout nameplate or the arrival of a Corolla Cross-based unibody pickup truck, whichever gets approved by the corner office head honcho first.
Interestingly, Subaru is another brand that's touted by the rumor mill as ready to join the party. That's kind of odd because the latter doesn't have a lot of models in America – the 2024 Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, Ascent, Impreza, Legacy, plus the 2023 Solterra, BRZ, and WRX, and that's it. However, the imaginative realm of digital car content creators is adamant that Subaru might join the Maverick and Santa Cruz battles with a reborn BRAT or Baja, depending on who you ask.
Dimas Ramadhan, the virtual automotive artist behind the Digimods DESIGN channel on YouTube, has taken up the task of revealing the revived Subaru Baja, for instance. And while the original from 2002 to 2006 was an all-wheel drive four-door utility model related to the Subaru Legacy and Outback passenger cars, this unofficial reinterpretation completely abandons the Ute legacy in favor of classic four-door workhorse looks.
In fact, if we are not mistaken, we think there's a little more Toyota inspiration than it should be if we identify the Tacoma profile well. Actually, that's not such a bad idea – the TNGA-F modular body-on-frame platform could also underpin a model from Subaru. Maybe the Baja doesn't need to be just a Ford Maverick menace – perhaps it could also jeopardize the sales of the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, or Nissan Frontier mid-sizers? That's an intriguing thought, right?