In May this year, Volkswagen Group announced its intention to revive the iconic Scout by launching an all-electric pickup and rugged SUV in the US.
It was an announcement that took many by surprise, including Volkswagen US dealers, who asked the automaker to confirm whether it is looking to adopt a direct-sales model for the new separate, independent company called Scout Motors.
The German automaker still hasn't made that clear, but its intentions with the new brand are as serious as can be; after all, the appointment of its former North America boss Scott Keogh as president and CEO of the new unit is a strong indicator that VW means business with the Scout brand.
As far as the Scout vehicles are concerned, Volkswagen has been very secretive so far. Besides releasing two design sketches, the automaker has only said the all-electric pickup and SUV will be rugged vehicles specifically designed, engineered and manufactured for the US.
In the original announcement, Volkswagen also said "the electrified Scout brand will be built upon a new technical platform concept which brings new pickup and R-SUV (rugged SUV) credibility beyond the existing Volkswagen Group portfolio."
Now, an unverified report appears to confirm what was suggested by the carmaker, namely that the Scout pickup and SUV will be true off-roaders developed as standalone models and not as badge engineered ones.
Official design sketch of Scout electric pickup and rugged SUV from Volkswagen Group
Jeff Bade, a prominent member of the vintage International Harvester Scout community, wrote on Facebook that he was invited to an event where he got to spend time talking with engineers and designers involved in the project, as well as check out early prototypes.
Obviously, he wasn't allowed to share photos of the said prototypes, but he said the people in charge of resurrecting the Scout are committed to staying as true to the original as possible, since the Scout community and history are very important to them.
Jeff Bade also said the Scout electric off-roaders won't be based on Volkswagen Group's MEB modular platform for EVs, as are the ID.4 or the ID. Buzz, for example. His post suggests the new Scout EVs might be built on a new platform developed specifically for them.
"Rumors of this being based on the VW skateboard platform are not true. This will be a very capable off-road vehicle with the right amount of old and new (…) This is an AMERICAN truck and while they can and will share technology, knowledge and suppliers with their VAG brothers and sisters this is not a rebranded or variation of anything in the VAG line."
Bade also said that making the Scout capable and affordable is "another important target" for the team. However, he was not able to share any price estimates, noting that the project is still in its early days, "so obviously things are going to change and some details were not known and realistically haven't been decided."
Finally, Bade added that the aftermarket is very important to Volkswagen's Scout Motors team, allowing owners to customise and work on their trucks. In his own words, "this is not going to follow a Tesla philosophy."