Volkswagen’s Scout Motors brand teases all-electric pick-up and SUV

Volkswagen’s rugged new all-electric SUV and pick-up range is teased ahead of its 2026 debut

Volkswagen is getting itself ready to jump onto the electric off-road bandwagon with a whole new brand called Scout Motors, reviving a name previously owned by the now-dead International Harvester brand. Designed specifically for the US market, the reborn Scout will launch in 2026 with both an SUV and pick-up truck in the range, rivalling everything from the high-end Rivian R1S, to off-road combustion-engine powered rivals from Land Rover and Jeep. 

All Scout models will be built on a brand new and bespoke EV platform designed specifically to be capable on and off-road. It’ll do this by prioritising typical off-roading attributes like ground clearance, axle articulation, approach and departure angles and payload capability. Much like the Land Rover Defender, it will be aimed at both private and commercial buyers, and come in a variety of forms to suit a range of North American customers. 

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Initial sketches have revealed designs that are not dissimilar to other retro-styled off-roaders like the Ford Bronco and Land Rover Defender, with an upright windscreen, short overhangs and boxy utilitarian proportions. To help differentiate the Scout from its squared-off rivals, designers have reproduced the distinctive window-line flick, but will otherwise follow a similar modern-retro playbook. 

Scout Motors has not indicated if it will 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, North Carolina. The new factory will have capacity for up to 200,000 units per annum, with completion to coincide with the commencement of series production from 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 lineup 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 Ford 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 startups 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 says prototypes are set to be unveiled late this year, with the first production-ready Scout vehicles due to enter series production by 2026. The plans form part of Volkswagen’s wider goal 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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