Scout Electric SUV: Everything We Know

By automotive-mag.com 10 Min Read

This story will be updated regularly with new information as we get it.

Volkswagen Group is reviving the iconic Scout name in the form of an electric SUV—or RUV, as in “Rugged Utility Vehicle”—and an electric pickup. Both of these off-roaders will be built at a dedicated Scout factory in the US beginning in 2025 and should go on sale shortly thereafter.

It’s still super early in the life cycle of these two vehicles, but we’ve already seen a few teasers that give us an idea as to what the first two trucks from the reborn Scout brand could look like. VW is adamant they will both be trail-capable and that the price and performance will be in line with other off-road-focused SUVs.

There’s still a lot to learn about the Scout SUV and its pickup sibling between now and the time they hit production, but here’s everything you need to know about in the meantime.

What Will It Look Like?

Scout electric SUV official design sketch

The first few teasers of the Scout SUV show something boxy with minimal overhangs, four doors, and a short wheelbase. Visually, the off-roader will follow suit with the Ford Bronco, recreating the original International Harvester Scout with some modern design cues. A grainy sketch uncovered in June shows a high beltline and a boxy aesthetic for both the truck and pickup, similar to the Rivian R1T and the Bronco.

Earlier this year we spoke to Chris Benjamin, the newly appointed chief design officer, who provided some insight into what the two vehicles could look like:

“You know, a lot of what you see off-road vehicles doing is, it’s like: ‘Let’s go out, let’s conquer the off-road world, let’s conquer the rocks,’ and Scout isn’t about that,” notes Benjamin. “Scout is having the ability to go off-roading and do those things, but it’s more about community and bringing people together. And so, that will factor into the design language as well, not trying to feel too overly aggressive.”

Scout Electric SUV Rendering

We pinged our rendering artist to help bring those teasers and that ideology to life, and the result is a rugged electric off-roader with retro flair. Hopefully the final production version looks this good.

The interior of the Scout SUV remains a mystery, but traditional elements common in other off-road vehicles should make their way inside. Rubberized floor mats, vinyl seating, and extensive waterproofing are all almost certainly part of the formula, with a bit of advanced tech.

What About The Interior?

Thankfully, Scout won’t take a playbook from its Volkswagen overlords here. The inside of the truck maker’s first models will have real, hard buttons instead of touch-capacitive controls or functions buried in a touchscreen.

“Manual is important,” Chris Benjamin Chris Benjamin said in an interview with InsideEVs. “We want to make sure that things you use every day and not buried somewhere in the screen. Easy, functional, tactile, all super important. Scout was a machine that always worked. We want to make sure the new one always works, too.”

What Will It Be Called?

In December of 2023, Scout went on a trademarking spree where the company filed for 50 trademarks. Each one could potentially hint at the name of its new vehicles. Here’s what the full list looks like:

  • Aristocrat
  • Baler
  • Cultivator
  • Forma
  • Grade
  • Harrow
  • Harvester
  • Rallye
  • Scout 80
  • Scout 800
  • Scout Hauler
  • Scout II
  • Scout Reaper
  • Scout Spirit
  • Scout Terra
  • Scythe
  • Sno-Star
  • Sportstar
  • SR-2
  • SSII
  • Super Scout
  • Swather
  • Tellus
  • Terra
  • Terrastar
  • Thresher
  • Trailstar
  • Travelstar
  • Travelstar XL
  • Traveltop

A few of those trademarks are throwbacks to the original International Harvester Scout, like Scout 80 and Scout 800. The original Scout II (also trademarked here) had trims like the Terra, Traveler, and Super Scout. Sportstar, Terrastar, Trailstar, and Travelstar are also historic. They were special models customized by Custom Vehicles Incorporated located next door to the original Scout headquarters.

But there are a handful of new names on this list, too—and many of them could work on the back of the brand’s new SUV (or truck). Those names include Cultivator, Reaper, Spirit, Harrow, and Rallye, just to list a few.

What’s Under The “Hood?”

The Scout SUV and pickup will both be electric. But while VW already has a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version of its MEB platform in production, Scout will use a totally unique platform developed specifically for off-roading, according to an interview that CEO Scott Keogh did with TechCrunch.

A dual-motor setup with all-wheel drive is almost guaranteed, but three- and four-motor configurations aren’t totally out of the question assuming Scout is able to keep the price tag reasonable. And this platform could carry over to other VW Group models. Audi is reportedly considering a rival to the electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class with a Scout-based SUV. And we know that other elements will be shared within the VW portfolio.

Volkswagen MEB platform

In order to compete with the Bronco and Jeep Wrangler, the Scout SUV would have to have hardcore off-road kit like a locking rear differential and a long-travel suspension. This EV would also need to be able to tow and haul and have enough range to get it to the trail, through the trail, and back.

Some current EVs using VW’s MEB electric architecture have upwards of 310 miles of range. But the Scout SUV should offer closer to 400 miles of range—or even more—by the time it debuts. And in terms of power, 300 hp would be a safe bet that would put the Scout in relative competition with the 275-horse base Bronco and the 285-horse Jeep Wrangler.

“We want to build something that’s highly robust and highly capable,” Scout CEO Scott Keogh said in an interview with InsideEVs. “And I think Scouts came from that, so we thought it was smart to say, let’s keep that integrity.

“This is not a twin, or a brother, or daughter to any of the other platforms that we’ve ever had,” added Jan Spies, Scout Motors’ head of production and a longtime VW Group manufacturing executive.

How Much Will It Cost?

VW wants to keep the price of its electric off-roader competitive with the current crop of off-roaders like the Bronco and Wrangler. With that, Scout CEO Scott Keogh confirmed in that same interview with TechCrunch that the SUV will cost $40,000 or “just north of there.”

The current Bronco starts at just over $36,000 for the base two-door model and the Wrangler two-door costs about three grand less. The four-door Bronco comes closer to $40,000 while the four-door Wrangler is just under $37,000. It’s unclear if Scout will offer two- and four-door configurations, but the teaser images show a four-door, which suggests something closer price-wise to the four-door versions of the Bronco and Wrangler.

Where Will It Be Built?

VW Group is building a dedicated Scout factory in Columbia, South Carolina. The $2 billion facility will be home to the Scout SUV and pickup, but other models might follow. The automaker says it will be able to build up to 250,000 vehicles annually and that the factory would support 4,000 permanent jobs in the area.

The actual SUV platform will be developed in Austria alongside Magna Steyr, which is currently responsible for production vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Toyota Supra, and others. VW is investing $492 million into development for both the SUV and pickup, but all of the assembly will still take place in the US.

Scout Electric SUV

When Will We See It?

We could see the first prototype for the Scout SUV as early as next year. The first few prototypes should show up late in 2024 ahead of production in 2025 and an on-sale date late in 2026. Keogh also confirmed that the SUV would come first and a larger electric pickup would follow “in quick succession.”

It’s unclear exactly how Scout plans to sell its new electric off-roaders; the National Automobile Dealers Association and several state associations have reached out to VW with questions regarding how the Scout brand will retail in the US, but nothing has been confirmed. With the current trend of online EV sales burgeoning, Scout could head down a similar path.

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