The cabover kei truck is exclusive to Japan, which is why it doesn't matter at all when compared to the likes of the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado, and Ford F-150.
On the other hand, Subaru does have experience with pickups in the United States. The Baja crosstruck comes to mind, a unibody design with the chassis and oily bits of the Legacy and Outback. There's also the quirky little BRAT, which fended off the 25-percent important tariff known as the Chicken Tax with rear-facing jumpseats in the cargo area.
This gets us to the Ascent three-row crossover, the roomiest Subaru on sale in the United States at the time of writing. Imagined with a bed and sports bar instead of third-row seats by Neil de Vos, the digital redesign wouldn't be half bad given the market trends we have today.
The freelance industrial designer has also changed the front fascia of the Toyota Hilux as a mid-size truck from Subaru, and that's an even more interesting proposition given how close these two companies are. Lest we forget, the bigger fish has recently increased its stake in the smaller one from 16.83 to 20 percent. The two companies also make vehicles together and they're jointly developing new electric vehicles on a new platform.
If the Ascent were to receive a pickup body style – though it's highly unlikely – Subaru would have to compete against the Honda Ridgeline and a few other unibody designs that haven't been launched yet. These are the Hyundai Santa Cruz, VW Tarok, and the Ford Maverick.
Going with a badge-engineered Toyota Hilux would be a little more difficult in terms of market share because the U.S. already has the Tacoma and the mid-size segment in this part of the world is chock-full with Ford Rangers, Colorados, Canyons, Frontiers, and Gladiators.
The Japanese automaker would bring an interesting concept to the realm of trucks if the Ascent pickup actually came to fruition, namely boxer engines instead of inline-four or V6 powerplants. As a brief refresher, the Baja and BRAT featured 2.5-, 1.8-, and 1.6-liter mills from the EA and EJ families.