Subaru 1982-Subaru-Brat1

Published on October 2nd, 2014 | by BajaBusta


1982 Subaru Brat Test Drive

1982-Subaru-Brat3 1982-Subaru-Brat2

In 1977, Subaru was the fifth largest automotive importer supplying vehicles to North America, trailing the likes of Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda. With the gas crisis still fresh in people’s minds, there was a surge of desire amongst the buying public for small, fuel-efficient pickups that could serve as dual-purpose vehicles.

Subaru introduced the BRAT at the perfect time. BRAT stands for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter. The vehicle resembled a small pickup, but was actually more of a crossover vehicle, similar in design to the larger Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero. Its name comes from its on-the-fly all-wheel drive system that could be activated with the push of a button.

In 1982 the round headlights were replaced with rectangular ones giving the BRAT a more updated look and the GL version was also outfitted with a dual-range transfer case (DL models still used a single-range version). For the 1983 and 1984 model years, one could also order a BRAT with an optional 1.8-litre turbo engine producing an impressive, but perhaps not “nail-biting,” 93 horsepower.

In terms of dimensions, the BRAT sat on a relatively short wheelbase of just 245.6 centimetres (96.7 inches) and was 442.4 centimetres (174.2 inches) in length. In comparison to pickups offered by other North American manufacturers it was small; however, next to other Japanese offerings, it was comparable in size.

Potential buyers of the BRAT also had a numerous range of colour choices, from Extra Black and Lake Blue to Lucent Grey and Moon Silver – 11 choices in all to suit every taste.

You have to admire Subaru’s ingenuity, willingness and gumption (otherwise known as balls) to bring a vehicle like the BRAT into the marketplace. A total of 92,445 Subaru BRATs moved out of dealer showrooms and into owners’ driveways between 1978 and 1987 – no easy accomplishment and certainly worthy of an honourable mention.

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