The Subaru Sambar Van is a very small vehicle manufactured by Subaru, a division of Fuji Heavy Industries, specifically for the Japanese market. The Sambar model was still using the Sixth Generation chassis and body with updated fascia. The current generation is a rebadged version of the Daihatsu Hijet/Atrai. Inspired by one of the first microvans, the 1957 Fiat 600 Multipla, it was based on the Subaru 360 platform and it was introduced at the 1960 Tokyo Motor Show in both private purchase and commercial versions. The Chassis uses a ladder frame construction, using a torsion bar trailing arm suspension in the back, and the body style is commonly referred to as "one-box". The engine, called the EK series, was accessed from an access hatch inside the vehicle. The front doors opened in the same fashion as the 360, meaning the doors opened backwards, with the rear passenger doors opening conventionally.
A styling upgrade was also done, adding a faux grille to the front of the vehicle that had no function other than a more modern appearance, as well as bringing the corporate look of the all new compact Subaru Leone. The Sambar saw new competitors, the Mazda Porter in 1968, and the Honda Vamos in 1970. The third generation appeared 10 February 1973, the engine code was EK34, the truck received the K71 model code while the van was called K81. A sunroof was added to the options list in 1979. 4WD was introduced as an option in 1980, on both the van and truck body styles, coinciding with the same feature being offered on the Subaru Rex. The suspension was upgraded to a four-wheel independent layout with MacPherson struts for the front wheels.
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