Subaru ST-X Sport Utility Pickup Concept

Venturing back into the pickup truck marketplace for the first time since the Brat, Subaru unveils this all wheel drive, supercharged concept - The ST-X. (Subaru Truck X-perimental)

Armed with a four cylinder 2.5-liter SOHC 4-cylinder boxer engine with Eaton supercharger and Subaru B4 intercooler, the ST-X produces a powerful 230 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm and 210 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm.

The eye opening ST-X drivetrain doesn't just stop at the engine. It also has full-time All-Wheel Drive, a dual-range 5-speed transmission and 8.5 inches of ground clearance give it true off-road capability.

A long-travel, heavy-duty four-wheel independent suspension provides a smooth on-road ride while allowing the ST-X to step over rough off-road terrain. The 225/55 R17 Yokohama AVS S/T tires mounted on 17" x 7" Enkei alloy wheels add to the off-road capability and give the ST-X a rugged, sporty look, as do the roof-mounted PIAA driving lights. The ST-X should have debuted at SEMA.

In the cabin there is room enough to seat four adults. The truck sports a trick folding rear panel in the cab allowing the 55.5 inch bed to be extended forward by an additional 20.5 inches for those trips to Home Depot. The rear window of the cab rolls down into the rear bed panel for the folding to take place. A rear bed extender can also be added when the tailgate is down.

The console and armrest trim, painted with a special dipped process, features an "aboriginal pattern" finish, while satin-chrome-look trim adorns the combination gauge pack and other items.

The gauge pack also features "dark screen" technology -- the dials donít become visible until the vehicle is started. A Momo steering wheel provides a sporty touch one might find in a sports car and it, of course, includes an air bag.

The ST-X Team worked with McIntosh Audio, recognized for its high-end home system components. The ST-X system includes an AM/FM head unit with CD player, three amps, 650 watts of total system power and seven McIntosh speakers. The sound system includes dual VU meters which, while functional, serve no real purpose beyond their visual interest. After conducting informal testing with a teenage consumer clinic, the "older members" on the ST-X team opted to include the meters. Actually, the "clinic" comprised several teenagers who said "Ooh, cool" when they saw the meters in a McIntosh Audio catalog. Those "older" team members, meanwhile, felt that for some, the meters might rekindle fond memories of late 1960s-vintage hi-fi equipment.

This four door pickup is specifically designed to gauge consumer reaction for possible future production. The ST-X could appeal to consumers -- especially younger car and truck shoppers -- who want the versatility of a four-door pickup truck, but would prefer the driving dynamics of a car.