Volkswagen Group is reviving the iconic Scout nameplate 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 provide an idea as to what the first two trucks from the reborn Scout brand could look like. Volkswagen 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 the production line, but here's everything you need to know about in the meantime.
What Will It Look Like?
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. We pinged our rendering artist to help bring those teasers 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. Rubberised floor mats, vinyl seating, and extensive waterproofing are all almost certainly part of the formula, with a bit of advanced tech.
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. Audi could even use the platform for its own off-road EV in the future.
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 bhp 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.
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 (approx. £32,400) 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.
When Will We See It?
We could see the first prototype for the Scout SUV as early as this year – but that’s just a rumour. More than likely we will see the first prototypes 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.