Americans are buying lots of mid-size trucks, but how about a small all-wheel-drive compact Subaru pickup based on the popular second-generation 2019 Subaru Crosstrek? According to reports, Ford is planning on bringing a global Mini truck to South American and is planning on selling it in North America. GM is also working on a new car-based compact Chevy truck with unibody construction. So why not take it further with a new 2020 Subaru Crosstrek STI Brat pickup?
Do you remember the Subaru Baja compact pickup? Subaru unveiled the first model in January 2001 at the North American International Auto Show. The Baja was the spiritual successor to the smaller Brat pickup, and like the Brat, Baja was based on Subaru’s wagon platform.
Subaru could take the new Global Platform that serves as the architecture for all-new Subaru vehicles and use it to bring a new small all-wheel-drive pickup based on Crosstrek. You might say they already tried that with the Brat (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter) and the Legacy Outback-based Baja, and it didn’t work out well for the Japanese automaker.
The Baja featured Subaru's great all-wheel-drive system, making it versatile in a variety of road and weather conditions and it was meant to appeal to young consumers with a taste for the active, outdoor lifestyle much like the popular Crosstrek does today. But Baja had some serious issues.
2019 Subaru Crosstrek
The small Baja pickup never sold well and had some flaws. There was no middle seat and it could only haul four people, and only a small portion of the rear bulkhead (the mid-gate) folded for cargo. The bed was small, and the ride height was only 7.3-inches but by the end of production was raised to 8.4-inches.
Baja lacked power but was offered as a fun turbo model in 2004 with 230 horsepower, but it had an unattractive appearance. Subaru Corporation could use the second-generation 2019 Crosstrek as the basis for the new small pickup but they don’t have to make the same mistakes. It would be the ideal size and could offer the same removable partition that expanded the Baja’s truck bed to nearly 7 feet.
This time, make the opening as wide as the bed to accommodate a sheet of plywood or other large items. Going even further, let Subaru Tecnica International get their hands on it and offer it in two versions, a Crosstrek STI with the Ascent-sourced 2.4-liter direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder boxer. And also offer it with an off-road package.
Will Subaru bring an all-new 2020 Crosstrek STI Brat and an off-road version to create a whole new compact pickup performance segment? It’s fun to think about, but it’s not very likely.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Timmons Subaru, Crosstrek-Brat used with permission from Instagram user good_grief_graffix