Subaru’s Best Boxers: The Featherweight BRAT Pickup

Cars like this shouldn’t work. So why is the BRAT so awesome?

Though it worked out rather well in the United States and Australia, the concept of a car-based pick-up truck never really caught on in Europe. Contrary to the buzz that’s generated when, say, BMW makes an M3 Ute as part of an April Fools’ prank, it’s very rare to see a pickup do well in Europe.

That is unless it’s, you know, an actual truck. As with all rules, though, there are exceptions, and the Subaru BRAT coupe utility vehicle is an incredibly interesting example of a commercial vehicle anomaly.

A car like the Subaru BRAT simply shouldn’t work. Here is a tiny-by-pickup-standards flat bed with a weedy engine and, until 1985, stupid rearward-facing seats that were installed to circumvent the stringent “Chicken Tax” import fees. And yet it developed a cult following on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

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