All BRATs had four-wheel drive and the usual Subaru flat-four engine. Four-speed manual transmission was the only system until 1983 when it was replaced by a five-speed manual with an optional automatic. For 1982, the BRAT was restyled, (two years behind the Subaru cars) and a turbo version appeared for a year or two around 1984. Imports to North America stopped around 1988 (the last version did without the jumpseats), but production continued until the early 1990s for other markets.
The name BRAT was a backronym for "Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter" according to Subaru (and "Barely Recognizable As a Truck" to some wags); in Australia it was marketed as a Subaru Brumby, in Europe it was simply the Subaru Pickup.