Automotive history is loaded with countless examples of great vehicles that never reached their potential due to financial shortcomings of their makers, while the opposite has also been true: bean counter-approved machines that weren’t worth their salt. Well, it appears that the revival of America’s iconic Scout name under Volkswagen ownership has a serious change of hitting that sweet spot where the two sides align. And while Scout’s planned electric SUV and truck will hit the market in 2026, we’ve brought along an artist’s take on these machines.
Trucks and SUVs have been dominating the American market for decades and VW was no stranger to this. However, the U.S. arm of the world’s second-largest automaker by volume has only made limited efforts in the said segment, such as the Atlas SUV. Nevertheless, now that electrification is taking over, Volkswagen seized the opportunity for a fresh start when it aquire the rights to the Scout name in 2021.
The transaction was made via VW’s Traton truck unit, which merged with Navistar, the parent company of International. For the record, the International Harvester Scout was an off-roading duo—truck and SUV—built between 1961 and 1980, with its popularity against the Jeep CJ being one of the factors that convinced Ford to design the original Bronco (here’s the revived Bronco drag racing its main rivals and more in all-out Raptor trim), while having a similar effect on Chevy and its K5 Blazer.
Despite being extremely capable on rugged terrain and one-upping the contemporary Bronco on the road, the latter had more big-company wind its sales and ended up becoming more popular. However, fueled by the more recent love for proper 4x4s, Scout restomods are now a trend.
VW’s Scout EVs will be an all-American effort
This rendering builds on two main aspects. The first involves the styling direction hinted in the teaser sketch VW showcased back in May, which you’ll find in the gallery below.
As for the second, the digital artist known as LARSONdesign (aka lars_o_saeltzer) didn’t need to consider any existing Volkswagen ID electric architecture, seeking inspiration in the design of the original Scout instead. That’s because VW has vowed that the Scout revival will be an all-in effort.
In other words, the new Scouts will feature a new battery-powered platform, while they will be designed and engineered in the US. The first prototypes are scheduled to greet the world in 2023, while production will commence in 2026, which has made some wonder if the newcomer will be engineered with the upcoming solid-state batteries in mind—these are more efficient than the current lithium-ion units.
Unlike the retro models, the future electric Scout SUV and pickup truck will feature four doors, as is the case with their competition, which ranges from trademark names like Ford to young names such as Rivian (this R1T drag raced an F-150 Lightning) and Tesla.