Since its introduction in 1061, the Subaru Sambar has used a rear engine, rear wheel drive format (with optional 4WD from 1980 on), with the first two generations using the air-cooled engine from the Subaru 360, and later generations using the water-cooled engine from the Subaru Rex, Vivio and the Pleo.
The Sambar was the first Kei truck in Japan that used a cabover design, with the passenger cabin over the engine.
Most of the popular imported Sambar’s are powered by a 660cc engine that is mated to a 3 speed automatic or 5 speed manual. A 57 hp supercharged version is available along with selectable 4WD models.
Special addition appearances packages included the retro looking “Dias Classic” which is a flat front fascia with Volkswagen emblems as the design was sourced from the German manufacturer.
The Sambar is often outfitted, from the factory, with hydraulic dump beds, hydraulic scissor lifts, hydraulic scissor/dump combo’s, electronic bed mounted cranes, enclosed refrigerated beds, boxed beds or with power lift gates.
Popular aftermarket options include turf or Trax tires, plows, salters, refrigerated beds, dump beds, scissor lifts, cranes and all kind of customizable signage.