20 Foreign Pickup Trucks That Are Just So Weird

While there are plenty of impractical foreign sports cars and sedans that can get away with being weird, in fact, sometimes they're even expected to be unique and quirky, pickups are expected to be usable and practical vehicles. As a result, the majority of pickups follow the same design language: body-on-frame layout with a roomy cabin and a bed designed to haul heavy loads - anything that strays too far from this formula will be a massive flop.

As usability is so important in this segment, many of these weird, foreign offerings never found a large following, either due to an impractical sporty design or as a result of an automaker utilizing an unfavorable platform. While not all of these models were failures nor necessarily bad trucks, they are definitely weird in one way or another - whether it's because they're itty-bitty Kei trucks, front-wheel driven, or based on a supercar.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

19 Lamborghini LM002

via Motor1

The LM002 is often considered an SUV, but it was actually more of a pickup, though a couple of full-on SUV variations were produced. It might have the least useful bed of all the trucks we've ever seen, but it's still one of the coolest and over-the-top pickups ever made - it has a 450-hp V12 from a Countach and desert-ready suspension.

18 Mercedes-Benz Unimog

via Gasafi

The Unimog class of vehicles has been produced in pickup versions for decades, used for everything from military to towing railways carts - even in motorsport. The latest generation Unimog features a 5.1-liter turbocharged inline-four diesel, Euro VI-compliant engine generating 231 hp and 664 lb-ft. It has 8 forward gears, 6 reverse gears, and can ford through 31 inches of water. It also features 18-inches of ground clearance and can go pretty much anywhere.

17 Mini Pickup

via Pinterest

The original Mini was a revolutionary concept that remains unsurpassed in the small car hall of fame to this day, but it could never settle for a role as somebody’s cutesy second car. It wanted to get its hands dirty. The Mini pickup offered an astonishing amount of room for transporting cargo. Today, the pickup is a rare sight at meetings and is commonly mistaken for a home-made creation.

16 Mini Paceman Adventure Concept

via Motor1

Just like the original Morris Mini was once upon a time converted into a pickup, in 2014, Mini revived the idea by converting a Paceman to a full-on pickup, dubbed the Paceman Adventure Concept. While it probably wouldn’t be very useful as an actual truck, thanks to its 184 hp 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, with 184 hp ensured that when unladen, it was rather quick.

15 Volkswagen Type 2

via Bring a Trailer

The Volkswagen Type 2 originally launched as a panel van and later as a minibus. But further on in its life cycle, VW launched the Type 2 Pickup, available in single- and crew-cab configurations. Despite being first launched in 1967, the Volkswagen Type 2 production continued until 2013 in Brazil, retaining an air-cooled engine until its dying days.

14 HSV Maloo

via Pinterest

Holden Special Vehicles has produced the Maloo Ute since 1990, based upon the standard Holden Ute, but turned up to the extreme. Powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8, it generates a massive 550 hp and 510 lb-ft that's sent to the rear wheels. It features huge NASCAR-derived 6-piston brakes, torque vectoring, and launch control on models equipped with a manual transmission. It’s awesome.

13 Mercedes-AMG G63 6x6

via Motor1

As far as pick-ups and off-roaders go, they don’t come more battle-ready than the Mercedes-AMG G63 6x6. The 6-wheel-drive monster was originally developed for the Australian military and features a 536-hp twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8. On top of that, there's a whole host of hardcore hardware. It might not be the most practical of all the pickups here, but the G63 6x6 is a true badass of the pickup world.

12 BMW E30 M3 Pickup

via Pinterest

The BMW M3 is an iconic performance sedan – hallowed as one of the best drivers’ cars through the ages. But did you know that BMW actually made an E30 M3 pickup in 1986? It had a 200-hp 2.3-liter engine, and interestingly enough, it had a convertible soft-top roof. The E30 M3 pickup actually found use as a transporter for BMW for 26 years before it was retired.

11 BMW E92 M3 Pickup

via Auto Evolution

BMW actually made a second M3 pickup, born from the E92 generation M3 coupe. It featured the high-revving 4.0-liter V8 from the standard M3, and unlike the E30, it featured a hard-top roof that remained fixed. Though this one remained a one-off prototype, the concept has been emulated across the globe, with several self-made versions cropping up in Europe and South Africa.

10 Mazda Rotary Pickup

via Curbside Classic

Mazda was very proud of its innovative rotary engine. So proud, in fact, that it stuck one in a pickup truck and named it, creatively, the Rotary Pickup. It could not haul or tow a lot as rotaries are high-revving, low-torque engines, which is precisely the opposite of what you want in a truck. Needless to say, Mazda abandoned the concept after a few years.

9 Volkswagen Caddy/Rabbit Pickup

via Pinterest

The Mk1 pickup was called the Rabbit Pickup in the US and entered production in 1978 at the Westmoreland plant. An almost identical European version called the VW Caddy went into production in 1983 at the Tvornica Automobila Sarajevo plant in Yugoslavia until the factory was destroyed in 1992 during the Bosnian War. It was so well-made you still see this mini truck driving around, nearly forty years after it made its debut.

8 Subaru 360 Sambar

via Barnfinds

Back in the ‘60s, Subaru produced a horrible, tiny, and unsafe vehicle known as the 360. There was another variation of the 360 known as the "Sambar." This flat-nose compact truck offered 20 horsepower and a tiny amount of usable space. However, the Sambar is meant for Japan’s small roads and to be affordable, as it falls under Japan’s Kei segment, jobs it excelled at.

7 Ferrari 412

via Top Speed

While most luxury marques have already branched out into SUVs, Ferrari remains one of the few high-end automakers that refuse to follow suit. But there is a Ferrari pickup. The conversion is based on a late-80s Ferrari 412 and retains the 4.9-liter V12 and just about everything forward of the cabin. Behind the driver, there's a three-foot pickup bed lined in teak.

6 Volvo 850

via Pinterest

The Volvo 850 T-5R was only available in limited numbers as a sedan and a wagon, but one dealership in Belgium has gotten its hands on a pickup ute version. With a 2.3-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine producing 247 horsepower, the T-5R could sprint to 60 in as little as 5.8 seconds, and since this pickup probably is a bit lighter, it should be even faster.

The Skoda Felicia supermini was turned into a pickup by the Czech carmaker, although, they preferred to call it a coupe utility version. The Felicia Pickup featured a redesigned rear axle to increase space in the cargo area. Since Skoda is owned by VW, it was also imported to some countries rebranded as a VW Caddy pick-up. There was also a "lifestyle edition" named the Felicia Fun.

5 Fiat Strada

via Wikipedia

In South America, you'll find the Fiat Strada – based on a tiny hatchback with a four-cylinder engine and dedicated to the Latin market. FCA even ships the Strada northwards as the Ram 700, but only as far as Mexico. Imagine a US version picking up the mantle of the Dodge Rampage or join the Ram lineup alongside rebadged versions of the Fiat Ducato (aka Ram ProMaster) and Fiat Doblo (ProMaster City).

4 Subaru Baja

via Car Gurus

2003 saw the debut of the Subaru Baja. Made in Indiana, the Baja took its name from the famous rally, though the end result was far more sedate, sharing its underpinnings with the Legacy and Outback. Boxer fours drove through all four wheels in typical Subaru style, but with a pickup bed in the back instead of a trunk or wagon.

3 Subaru Brat

via Pinterest

Tiny pickups weren't that uncommon in the 1970s and the 1980s, and yet, there's something undeniably quirky about the Subaru BRAT. Perhaps it was the name, or the bed-mounted seats installed to avoid a tax on imported trucks in the U.S. The Brat was produced mainly for the North American market between 1977 and '87, and continuing elsewhere through 1994.

2 Tempo Matador

via Youtube

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the Tempo Matador is just plain ugly. These trucks were built by Vidal Sohne in Hamburg, Germany, from 1949 to1951 and were available as both vans and pickups. Despite their measly 25-hp Volkswagen engines, they were famous for their ability to haul huge loads. When VW developed its own utility vehicle it stopped supplying engines to Tempo.

1 Suzuki Carry

via Youtube

The Suzuki Carry is a Kei truck that has been sold under a myriad of different names in several countries - it's the only car offered with both Chevrolet and Ford badges. You'd struggle to find a better vehicle to haul small stuff, like a couple of Chihuahuas, books, and maybe even groceries. Just kidding. While the Carry is tiny and powered by a 660cc engine, it's surprisingly practical.

More in Cars And Trucks