Subaru Brat

Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985 has been a real classic pick for all car lovers. It was a functional and sporty pick back in the years. From youngsters to mechanics, this car was an absolute favorite for all. The car became exceptionally popular in Canada and other United States countries. This is a four-wheel-drive coupé utility vehicle developed by Subaru, a Japanese automotive brand. 

Ironically, the models were never officially released in the Japanese market. The term “BRAT” in the name actually stands for “Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter”. It’s 4-wheel drive and unique design made it ideal for off-roading activities. This car series by Subaru was manufactured in 4 different locations from all over the world. 

Let’s know more about this featured car in detail: 

Making of Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985

Subaru BRAT or Subaru Brumby is a utility coupe with a 4-wheel drive feature. It’s basic idea and design was based on the Leone sedan, which was another of Subaru’s automotive creations. These cars were sold from the years 1978 to 1994. However, the Gen 2 1985 model was special for the car-lovers. The models produced in this year were the last ones to have the jumpseats feature. 

This feature was cut from the later designs and models. The main aim of bringing this car into the market was to provide a more efficient and affordable substitute for cars like Ford Ranchero or Chevrolet El Camino. BRAT became popular in the small pickup truck vehicle ranges. It was even listed with other top brands like Mazda, Toyota, and Nissan. 

As the acronym- “Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter” suggests, BRAT was designed to perform on different terrains and deliver equally striking performance. The nomenclature was done to showcase the abilities and features of this amazing car. It sported a unique design, which resembled a sporty/muscle look paired with the features of a mini truck. 

Many users also used the rear space with a canopy to create a secure storage space while commuting or traveling. The Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985 model had a ‘truck bed’ space in the rear cargo storage. This space contained 2 jumpseats that faced the rear-end; these seats were secured in the spot with welding. 

The car had no formal seating space apart from the front two seats. However, the back seats were made from plastic, which showed the way Subaru had cut their costs in designing these models. Not just in production but also while importing. Because of its design and categorization as a Passenger Car, the Chicken Tax imposed came down almost 1/10th

Check out some Specs and Features of Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985:

Unique Features

  • Optional Split Roof with T-top
  • Stepney Tire under the Hood 
  • Hidden Door on the sides; for accessing the cargo

Progression, Chassis & Body

Successor: Subaru Baja 

Class: Mini Truck

Style: 2-door coupe utility

Other specs

Engine capacity: 1.8 liter 

Number of cylinders: 4

Fuel: Gasoline

Transmission: Automatic

Transmission Speed: 4 Speed Manual or 3 Speed Auto

Drive Type: 4WD

Inspiration behind Subaru Shifter

The drivetrain of BRAT was made to sustain the cargo weight while rendering optimal performance. Its application, use, and structure made it perfect to be used by youthful off-roaders and domestic drivers. The engine capacity of 1.8 liters gave it a better performance than it’s older versions; the horsepower increased from 67 to 73. 

The upgrade in the original design was done in 1982. This brought a change in the engine; it got an extra 0.2 liters from 1.6-liter. Also, the headlights were replaced in this upgrade. They went from classic round ones to trendy rectangular ones. Therefore, if you are looking forward to buying yourself a Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985, you will where to find the differences. 

Last Production

The production of BRAT, all its versions, was stopped somewhere around 1987. Major production upgrades were done in 1982 and 1985; after which the Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985 was born. However, Subaru continued to make these cars until 1993 to ship them to New Zealand, Europe, Australia, and South America. 

Making Media Appearances

The Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985 was featured in the TV show called ‘My Name Is Earl’. It was under the ownership of Joy, from the series, and had striking Stars & Stripes, resembling the US flag. Few other shows or movies like Kidd Video Whiz, Napoleon Dynamite, Achewood universe, and Alaska: The Last Frontier have also featured other models of this car. The 1980 models have also been included in multiple racing video games designed by Forza, a popular video game designing company. 


  • Classic but Unique Design 
  • Capacious Rear Cargo Storage 
  • Has secured Jumpseats


  • Jumpseats were made from Plastic
  • No formal seating

Final Verdict

Overall, Subaru BRAT Gen 2 1985 is a fun and flashy car. If you like having a collection of unique 1970-80s cars, then you must give BRAT a shot; it will be worth every penny. Originally inspired by Subaru Leone, a sedan car designed and sold by Subaru. It aimed to provide the car-enthusiasts with a better mini-truck option that offers better comfort and performance. 

And Subaru BRAT renders that and more to the buyers. Its 4-wheel drive made it stand out from other trucks. With capacious storage on the back, it made it easier for the user to store and carry extra weight without compromising on the car’s performance. In the end, it is a beautiful and classy car that was designed to cater to all on & off-road escapades! 

Check out the below video we found on Youtube showing you a detailed review of the Subaru BRAT or here.

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