Return Of The Scout: Volkswagen Revives A Famous Off-Road Name

Return Of The Scout: Volkswagen Revives A Famous Off-Road Name

Return Of The Scout: Volkswagen Revives A Famous Off-Road Name
With big all-terrain tires, brief overhangs, and lines drawn straight from the 1970s-period International Scout II, this initially Scout sketch projects the probable design and style upcoming for the revived manufacturer. Volkswagen AG

German automaker Volkswagen announced today that it will revive the vintage Scout off-roader as an EV and make a new U.S.-centric model about it by 2026. At first, the model will concentrate on a modern, Volkswagen Atlas-sized SUV and a Honda Ridgeline-sized pickup, both of those using the same off-highway optimized fully-electric powered system to be crafted in a but to be determined U.S. facility.

The original Scout was developed by Worldwide Harvester Company (IHC), from 1961 to 1980, and proven a fanbase as loyal as these of the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco in advance of economical troubles at IHC observed production stop. In 1985, IHC’s economic troubles led it to reorganize as significant truck and engine-maker Navistar. 

Volkswagen acquired entry to Navistar’s back catalog when its industrial truck division, Traton Group, merged with Navistar very last 12 months. 

Scout Pickup Sketch
The SUV sketch was accompanied by a clearly associated crew-cab pickup. Volkswagen would pretty considerably like to sell pickups in the U.S., but its global products are designed far too costly to be sellable by the 25{7e44665ad31c7163a3225b5cdeca12ae8e1ba5a9651d05b2285576263eb8f3ac} “Chicken tax.” Volkswagen AG

A pair of months soon after the acquisition, Volkswagen of The united states COO Johan de Nysschen hinted that a Scout revival could be in the operates and that this kind of a merchandise would consider on Rivian, but, “At a $40,000 cost stage rather of $70,000.”

The actual specifics of wherever the Scout cars will be developed and how a lot Volkswagen will invest in the venture are continue to murky, but the organization will place at least $100 million, and quite possibly up to $1 billion, into the venture. In accordance to reporting by the Wall Avenue Journal, Volkswagen hopes to establish 250,000 Scouts a year.

That would be an ambitious concentrate on for any new EV manufacturer, but Scout is a “startup” with a main automaker’s backing, a compelling brand name backstory and an current fanbase. It is also beautifully put to give Volkswagen entry to the greatest-selling segments in The united states.

1980 International Harvester Scout II Rallye
A 1980 Intercontinental Scout II Rallye. Vintage Scouts now command sky-significant charges and are typically the basis of modern-day off-street builds like this a person. Volkswagen hopes its new manufacturer can tap into this fandom. Alex Kwanten

What’s a Scout?

Noticing the attractiveness of navy surplus Jeeps as off-street enjoyment vehicles, IHC established the first Scout to mix the ability of those people autos with auto-like comfort, releasing the authentic Scout in 1961. When it would appear to be fundamental and utilitarian to today’s eyes, the Scout was a revelation for off-road lovers, and Jeep, Ford and Common Motors straight responded with the original Wagoneer, Bronco and Chevy Blazer.

The Scout was at first created to be configured as both a small pickup or an SUV with a detachable best, layouts which ongoing in the even additional well-liked 2nd-generation Scout II, launched in 1971. 

Popular during its everyday living, unrelated economical difficulties and labor strife at IHC pressured the organization to offer off the area of interest product to an Indiana RV builder in May possibly of 1980. The pinch on gasoline-hungry automobiles from the next OPEC crisis and the 1980 recession completed off the undertaking by that October, bringing creation to an abrupt finish.

1963 International Scout 80
The authentic 1960s Scout would show up primary and utilitarian to most consumers right now, but was one of the quite first SUVs to try out to mix the creature comforts of a car with the trail-busting expertise of a pure off-street automobile. Alex Kwanten

As the attractiveness of classic off-roaders has boomed, so have the charges of pleasant traditional Scouts, notably the bigger and better-proportioned Scout II.

Designs for the first batch of Scouts center on just two sketches, a person of which bears the title of Volkswagen designer Nico Pressler. A brief-ish 4-doorway midsize SUV with proportions comparable to the Scout II and a larger sized four-door pickup are depicted. But in bringing back the Scout, Volkswagen not only faucets the historical past of the fundamental Scout II, but all of the other tangential IHC passenger autos.

Prior to 1975, IHC also built total-size pickups and SUVs, and there have been a lot of versions of the Scout. The new business could effortlessly revive the Terra pickup, the very long-wheelbase Scout Traveler, the proto-Bronco-Raptor Scout SSII, the total-dimension pickups or the Chevy Suburban-sized Travelall. 

Expanded EV Ambitions at Volkswagen

Volkswagen is the world’s 2nd-premier automaker by income, trailing only Toyota, but isn’t a major player in the United States, with only a 5{7e44665ad31c7163a3225b5cdeca12ae8e1ba5a9651d05b2285576263eb8f3ac} current market share. The automaker’s preferred ID.4, even so, has offered it an 8{7e44665ad31c7163a3225b5cdeca12ae8e1ba5a9651d05b2285576263eb8f3ac} share of the burgeoning U.S. EV sector.

On a the latest earnings connect with, CEO Herbert Diess described to reporters that the business will be more and more targeted on EVs, “Which we see as a historic possibility to acquire market place share in the United States.”

A ready-made lineup of domestic trucks and SUVs with an present fan foundation would certainly assist, despite the fact that how several regular people remember the outdated Scouts is an open concern. Ford assumed the Scout had more than enough recognition to check out and purchase the identify from Navistar in 2019, only to be rebuffed.

Though this week’s renderings propose what the to start with Scouts may well search like in profile, significantly do the job is continue to to be completed. These automobiles are meant to consider on products like the Rivian R1T and Jeep Wrangler, which dictates a greater stage of off-street optimization than the ID.4’s system. Though they’ll leverage VW Team technological know-how like Bentley, Audi and other subsidiaries, the Scouts will in all probability get their have architecture. They’ll also get a manufacturing facility of their own.

1972 International Travelall
These goods are not getting outlined still, but IHC also crafted a Suburban-sized SUV, the Travelall…
1971 International Pickup
And a long-managing line of entire-size 50 {7e44665ad31c7163a3225b5cdeca12ae8e1ba5a9651d05b2285576263eb8f3ac}-ton and a few-quarter-ton pickup trucks. Scout could do the exact someday. Alex Kwanten

The entire Scout brand is rooted in its historical and quite American origins. That and the 25{7e44665ad31c7163a3225b5cdeca12ae8e1ba5a9651d05b2285576263eb8f3ac} “chicken tax” tariff on light trucks, which helps prevent Volkswagen from featuring its intercontinental-marketplace Amarok pickup here, the two dictate domestic, or at least North American manufacturing. Volkswagen’s amenities at Chattanooga, Tennessee and Puebla, Mexico are both of those thoroughly occupied with other items, which signifies a new facility.

Like Bentley, Scout will have its have structure and company framework. “The corporation we will set up this yr will be a individual unit and model within the Volkswagen Group to be managed independently,” said Volkswagen AG CFO Arno Antlitz in a statement produced this early morning.

“This aligns with the new Team steering model, modest models that act agilely and have access to our tech platforms to leverage synergies,” Antlitz ongoing. 2026 is less than 4 many years away, so Scout will have to be agile in truth to have cars all set by then.