Let’s just get this straight - there are no plans for a Subaru ute. But the company really, really wants one.
That’s the story from Subaru Australia general manager of sales, Colin Christie, who told us at the 2019 Tokyo motor show that if the company had its way, there’d be a ute to compete with the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger in its showrooms already.
“We wish we could get a Subaru ute,” said Mr Christie. “But it’s certainly not on any drawing board we’ve ever seen.”
Mr Christie said that the Brumby single-cab compact ute of the 1980s and 1990s still has loyal customers and owners who want a replacement Subie ute.
“Every time I do a trip to the rural dealers, I’m pretty sure it’s a setup because there’s always a Brumby or two there at the dealerships.
“It was absolutely iconic, there’s several guys at work that have Brumbys!” said Mr Christie.
It may be pie in the sky, but with Toyota and Subaru ties deepening, and with Toyota not aligning with any other manufacturers to produce the HiLux for the next generation, there is an outside chance that a Subaru pick-up truck could happen.
Other collaborations include the tie-up between Ford and VW for the next-generation Ranger and Amarok models, while the recently-revealed Isuzu D-Max will form the basis of the new-generation Mazda BT-50. The Mitsubishi Triton is also expected to underpin the next Nissan Navara and Mercedes X-Class… if there is one.