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Subaru stretches definition of "micro-pickup"

Subaru Sambar Kei

Subaru Sambar Kei (Credit: Subaru)

We've seen a good number of micro-pickups in our day, but this version from Subaru, off the Sambar Kei van platform, seems to stretch the limits to the breaking point.

The Kei pickup will hold four small or medium-sized passengers and is motivated by a water-cooled 660-cc gas engine mated either to a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual.

This version of the Kei van is the newest iteration of the Sambar van platform, which is quite popular in China, Korea and Japan. (Apparently there is a need for a vehicle to carry tall bookshelves and five-gallon drums.)

With vehicles like Smart cars driving on our city streets and highways, it doesn't seem too far-fetched to imagine seeing these types of vehicles in big cities, but they might also be interesting vehicles to modify like ATVs and dirt bikes.

Subaru has no plans to bring the Sambar lineup to the United States, but if the little pickup did come here, they'd probably start around $15,000. By our calculations, these little workers would fit quite nicely in the bed of a heavy-duty pickup, long or short bed.

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