Volkswagen’s Scout Motors brand teases summer blockbuster unveiling
An all-electric SUV and pick-up truck from newly established brand are due to enter production by the end of 2026
Two years ago Volkswagen created a new brand called Scout Motors, reviving an iconic name from the world of off-roading and 4x4s, with plans to launch an all-electric SUV and pick-up truck designed specifically for the US market. Now, the newly minted brand has begun to tease a summer 2024 reveal for its first creation that will have Rivian, Land Rover, Ford and Jeep as targets.
All Scout models will be built on a brand new and bespoke EV platform designed to be capable on and off-road. To do this, the company has said it’s prioritising typical off-roading attributes like ground clearance, axle articulation, approach and departure angles and payload capacity, as well as the all-electric range of its vehicles.
The brand has also shared a teaser image of the front end design for its SUV model, which is not too dissimilar to other retro-styled off-roaders like the Ford Bronco and Toyota Land Cruiser. However, the boxy utilitarian proportions, upright windscreen and strong stance aren’t following current trends so closely.
Instead, they hark back to the original Scout 4x4s produced between 1960 and 1980, as do the distinctive window-line flick and super short overhangs we can see in the design sketches the brand has also released. The sketches suggest that Scout will be taking a similar approach to Rivian, and will use one design for both its SUV and pick-up truck, just giving the truck an extended wheelbase and load bed.
There are countless electric SUVs on the market now, with Scout’s entry in the class going up against the Rivian R1S and Tesla Model X among others, with the Jeep Recon and all-electric Wrangler still to come. And while zero-emissions pick-up trucks are less commonplace, Scout will still have to face off against the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning and controversial Tesla Cybertruck.
Scout Motors has not indicated if it will cross the pond and enter the European market, instead focusing its $2 billion (£1.66 billion) investment in the US, which will incorporate a new 110-acre manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina. The new factory will have capacity for up to 200,000 units per annum. Production of Scout’s first models is due to commence by the end of 2026.
What is Scout?
The Scout name was originally used on a series of off-road models built by the now-dead American commercial vehicle manufacturer International Harvester. The model was in production between 1960 and 1980, designed specifically to rival the contemporary Jeep CJ and the later Ford Bronco.
Volkswagen’s electric reboot comes after the German conglomerate obtained naming rights to the Scout brand in 2021. The line-up will be designed purely for the US market, where the pick-up truck could potentially start for as little as $40,000, undercutting potential rivals like the F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV.
Many brands are betting on the rapid growth of the electric pick up market, with Volkswagen keen to take a slice of the segment away from both legacy American manufacturers and EV start-ups like Rivian. In comment on the investment plan, former Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess stated: “Electrification provides a historic opportunity to now enter the highly attractive pick-up and R-SUV segment as a Group, underscoring our ambition to become a relevant player in the U.S. market.”
Volkswagen’s wider goal is to double its EV market share in the US and become the world’s biggest-selling electric vehicle manufacturer by 2025.
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