QOTD: Time for a Trucklet From the Dog-approved Brand?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd time for a trucklet from the dog approved brand

No, I won’t rest until Subaru returns with a true successor to the brash and youthful Brat. I’ve harped on this desire in the past when we asked what vehicle the well fleshed-out Subaru lineup lacked, and I’ll do so again today.

With Hyundai’s Santa Cruz entering production in Alabama next year and Ford working on a unibody challenger, the timing will never be more right.

We’ve already seen spy photos of a camo-clad Santa Cruz, so there’s few mysteries to the recipe Hyundai cooked up. Four conventional doors, sweeping C-pillars, and a platform/powertrain combo stolen from the corporate parts bin. All-wheel drive will naturally compliment the vehicles’s CUV underpinnings.

Ford’s effort remains much hazier, though there have been test mules spotted in the past. Here in North America, Ford’s compact pickup past (Ranchero notwithstanding) is not as well known as it is overseas, where truly wee trucklets were a common sight for decades. Named Courier or Maverick, the vehicle announced last year will see the same recipe employed by Hyundai replicated by Ford.

Is there a market for a compact crossover-turned-pickup in North America? Time will tell, but there’s good reason to believe the niche exists in a market obsessed with CUVs of all sizes and descriptions — one where conventional pickups start at midsize and go up from there.

While the ungainly Baja failed to launch, history shines brightly on the scrappy little Brat. Vacating American shores after 1985, the tiny sport pickup still enlivens the brand’s image and remains a touchstone of its heritage. The brand already has AWD dependability at the center of its core identity. So, if the Koreans and Americans plan to venture into new waters, why shouldn’t Subaru return to the past? It’s arguable that consumers would trust Subaru’s effort more than that of its rivals.

What say you, B&B? Yes, the pandemic may hang heavily over the industry’s accountants, but design teams surely want to exercise their drawing boards. Certainly, development of such a vehicle adds risk in a time of constrained finances and uncertainty. But let’s push most of that aside.

Subaru unibody pickup: Yea or nay?

[Image: Subaru]

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Jun 24, 2020

    Just take an Outback and make it a two door standard cab pickup with the same overall length as now. Then it will be able to carry something.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 25, 2020

    @Steve Biro--I was but after further research I don't want an engine with the water pump enclosed with the timing belt along with it being a crew cab and probably a small bed.

  • MaintenanceCosts All I want is one more cylinder. One more cylinder and I would happily pay the diesel fraud company almost whatever they wanted for it.
  • SPPPP US like Citroen - nothing moves.
  • Jeff S Corey--Thanks again for this serious and despite the lack of comments this is an excellent series. Powell Crosley does not get enough recognition and is largely forgotten even in his hometown of Cincinnati although the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Airport has 2 Crosley cars on display. Crosley revolutionized radios by making an affordable radio that the masses could afford similar to what Henry Ford did with the Model T. Both Crosley and Ford did not invent the radio and the car but they made them widespread by making them affordable. I did not know about the Icyball but I did know about Crosley refrigerators, airplanes, cars, and radios.
  • Oberkanone C5 Aircross is the only vehicle that would have any appeal in North America. Can't see it doing well with Citroen badge, maybe a chance with Chrysler badge.
  • Oberkanone 1921 thru 1936 are the best
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