Return of the Pickup Car May Be Imminent
I'm not sure if it's in a completely ironic way or a genuine, passionate kind of way--probably a mixture of both--but I just love the pickup car. You know, the El Camino, the Ranchero--those things were classic. And they left a rather lonely void when they disappeared from the market. I don't know about anyone else, but I would legit love a vehicle that drove like a car while giving me the hauling advantages of a pickup. I would LOVE it.
Unfortunately, there's no such thing here in the U.S. The El Camino perished back in 1987 and the market just hasn't given us a reasonable alternative. Subaru made a noble effort with the Baja, but that just didn't have the utility or muscular stance of the originals. And consumers didn't buy into it and now it's no longer available.
Now those that don't follow cars outside of their own neighborhood/local roads would probably think that the pickup car was retired completely. They'd be quite wrong, however; the pickup car/ute thrives in markets outside of the U.S. In fact, U.S. automakers like Chevy and Ford continue to build them for global markets like Australia, South Africa and Latin America. Just not here.
Frankly, while it's good to know the four-wheeled mullet is still alive and well, knowing that there are multiple options in other countries makes it all the more frustrating that we don't have a single one here in the U.S.
But the tides may be a changin'. According to auto blog Jalopnik, GM is giving some consideration to bringing a pickup car here to the U.S. The blog consulted with three GM sources as well as one source close to the company in gleaning that it is giving the model consideration. If approved, it will likely be badged a Chevy and may very well be called the 'El Camino.' Now if that isn't great auto news, I don't know what is.
The report indicates that any potential model is a few years off and wouldn't debut until 2014. But if GM gets serious about it, I'd hope to see a concept version well before that.
My fingers are crossed.