Hypothetical Toyota Tacoma-Based Subaru Baja Looks Like a 4x4 Charm in Fantasy Land

Subaru Baja rendering by jlord8 7 photos
Photo: jlord8 / Instagram
Subaru Baja rendering by jlord8Tacoma rendering by jlord8Tacoma rendering by jlord8Subaru BRAT rendering by jlord8Subaru BRAT rendering by jlord8Subaru BRAT rendering by jlord8
Toyota and Subaru are very good partners, and that shows – in America, they have the GR86 and BRZ sports cars plus the bZ4X and Solterra all-electric compact crossover SUVs together. However, is that enough?
Last year, Toyota sold more than 2.24 million units, and Subaru delivered over 632k vehicles, with an overall annual rise of 13.6 percent. However, when the sales report came out for the first month of 2024, things weren't as positive anymore – they barely nailed the 18th consecutive month of growth with a 0.3% increase compared to January 2023.

Clearly, Subaru needs a gentle nudge forward to continue with the positive results. In the real world, that could be the arrival of the all-new 2025 Forester, as the model is already very fashionable and was the top-grossing nameplate during the previous month, ahead of Crosstrek and Outback models. However, there's another idea across the imaginative realm of digital car content creators – a modern pickup truck.

Subaru isn't necessarily a stranger to workhorse and leisure vehicles with a bed. Back in 1977, they introduced the BRAT – which isn't a spoiled vehicle but rather the acronym for 'Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter,' which designated a light and nimble four-wheel drive coupe utility, essentially a Leone Ute. It was sold until 1994, and Subaru didn't stay long without a replacement – they upgraded to the four-door Baja produced between 2002 and 2006.

This short-lived version of the Legacy/Outback wagon, along with its longer-running predecessor, neither went down in history as a failure nor did they get forgotten by the critics and fans. Instead, now that Hyundai Santa Cruz paved the way for a revival of the American unibody compact pickup truck sector and Ford's Maverick proved it can be extremely successful, the rumor mill is brimming with whispers of which and what automaker will join the party next.

Some say it's going to be Ram with a North American version of the Brazil-made Rampage; others even think that GM should greenlight a Chevrolet El Camino revival of the four-door compact variety. However, a lot more voices chant the potential return to life of the Toyota Stout either as an all-new model or as a derivative of the Corolla Cross CUV. With it, to lower costs, many think Subaru could also piggyback on the platform with a revival of the BRAT or Baja of their own.

However, there's at least one virtual artist who dreams of something bigger. Jim, the virtual artist known as jlord8 on social media, loves messing around with all things CGI from GM and Ford; sometimes, he also derails into Japanese stuff. Just recently, he thought about things like a Nissan Xterra revival, the morphing of the Honda Odyssey into a feisty Acura VDX Type S minivan, or the odd return of the Supra Mk3 based on the GR Supra 100 Edition (GR4).

However, he also had a CGI 'nightmare' in the form of a hideous morphing of the all-new 2024 N400 Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup truck into a big and spoiled Subaru BRAT. The looks aren't something you can forget easily but, luckily, the pixel master is now whipping off the shame and fixing things with a Tacoma-based Subaru Baja rebirth that looks like something a lot of Subie fans would like to have in the garage if ever real. Alas, it's probably merely wishful thinking, right?

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Editor's note: Gallery includes additional Toyota Tacoma CGI projects by the same author.

About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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