Volkswagen Group Revives Iconic Scout Nameplate as Pure-Electric Off-Roader for U.S.

Photo By: Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen Group announced it will be establishing an all-new brand, Scout, for the U.S. market. The new Scout brand will pay homage to the International Harvester Scout nameplate that existed from the 1960s into the 1980s. The new SUV and pickup will be pure electric and ride on a new technical platform from the Group.

Before I dig into the meat of this, I want to quickly distinguish Volkswagen from Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen is a brand underneath Volkswagen Group, which owns Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Ducati, and Bugatti, to name a few.

It’s not fair to say Volkswagen is making the Scout, because it’s not. That’s like saying Jeep is making the new Peugeot just because they fall under the same conglomerate, Stellantis. This might seem like a weird aside. I swear it’ll make sense in a minute.

Photo by Volkswagen Group

Photo by Volkswagen Group

What we know about Scout so far is that it will be an all-new, independent company founded here in the U.S. The vehicles will be designed, engineered, and manufactured here in the U.S. for the American market. A prototype will be revealed in 2023 with production scheduled for 2026. That’s all we really know for now.

From the looks of things, based upon the supplied design drawings, the new rigs will very much play homage to the original Scout and Scout II designs, which makes me quite happy indeed.

I’ve read some commentary already denigrating the Scout brand, complaining about Volkswagen reliability and the now-defunct Scout’s rust issues. This is not only contrarian but also unfounded. As I established earlier, Volkswagen Group is not Volkswagen. Under that umbrella are some of the greatest auto brands the world has ever seen.

READ MORE: Does GMC’s 350-Mile Hummer EV Break the Overlanding Range Barrier?

Audi, for example, makes some of the most technologically advanced and reliable cars in the world. And Bugatti’s efforts are industry leading, from design, refinement, and performance standards. To assume that the Scout will be a rebadged Volkswagen ID.4 crossover with a vintage-looking body but no actual off-road bona fides is insulting and, to me, infuriating.

Do these nay-sayers really think that the Group that makes the Lamborghini Aventador, Bentley Mulsanne Speed, and Bugatti Chiron doesn’t have the design and engineering capabilities to make a potent off-roader? To use Internet parlance: GTFO.

I think Volkswagen Group not only can but will make a world-class pure-electric off-road platform. I cannot wait to see them and, if the offerings are as compelling as I hope they will be, I will be one of the first in line to buy one.

The auto industry is going electric. We can’t stop that. It’s also pushing, because of overlanders like us, toward off-road capabilities. If Volkswagen Group wants to resurrect Scout and throw its engineering brilliance at beating Ford, GM, and Rivian at the off-road EV game, I encourage it to.

Let’s not forget that we are seeing the start of a new arms race between automakers. As we have seen with GMC HUMMER EV, brands will all now put their best people on the project in order to one-up each other.

Good things are coming, my fellow overlanders. That includes Scout.

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