VW Group’s 2026 Scout electric truck (pickup): Everything we know

  • Could be the most U.S.-focused model across Volkswagen Group brands
  • Rivals will include electric trucks from GM, Ford & Rivian
  • Will be designed and built in the United States; launch in 2026 at slightly over USD 40k
  • Frunk, mid-gate, rear-wheel steering & V2L are definite features

Update: ‘Price & Release Date’ section updated.

The VW Group is stepping up its game in the U.S. with a brand tailored for truck models: Scout. A Scout electric truck (pickup) will be the inaugural launch, and here’s everything we know about the first product from Scout Motors:

Why Scout?

When Volkswagen Group acquired Navistar in 2021, it inherited the rights to the iconic Scout brand (International Harvester Scout). For about five years, the company sought an opening in the truck (pickup) segment in America, showcasing two concept vehicles. In 2021, it sensed a great opportunity with the badge that reminds people of the country’s first off-road SUV, former CEO Dr. Herbert Diess told TechCrunch in an interview (via YouTube).

Volkswagen Group has established Scout Motors, a new company independent of Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA). The latter markets models from the Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti brands in the country. Scout Motors will report directly to the HQ in Wolfsburg, Germany. Scott Keogh, previously the President and CEO of VWGoA and the CEO of Volkswagen North American Region, is the President and CEO of Scout Motors since September 1, 2022.

Specifications

Volkswagen Group is looking to make its Scout electric truck and SUV as American as possible. The designing and engineering of these models will take place in the U.S. The German conglomerate had earlier only stated that the Scout pickup will sit on “a new technical platform concept” that offers “credibility beyond the existing Volkswagen Group portfolio”.

On March 3, 2023, Scout Motors confirmed that the Scout electric truck will be based on a dedicated EV platform that offers great off-road prowess. The company will focus on aspects like ground clearance, approach angle, axle robustness, payload capacity, etc.

2026 Scout electric truck side official image
It is reported that the Scout electric truck could use a 469 hp all-wheel drive system, and a steel & aluminum monocoque platform. Image: VW Group

The same day Scout Motors released the aforementioned details, TechCrunch published a report disclosing some new information after interviewing Keogh. According to this report, the Scout electric truck will have a body-on-frame construction, which will ensure it’s just as rugged as any other popular, gas-powered model of the same class. There will be a few commonalities with other Volkswagen Group models, though, such as HVAC components, motors, and inverters.

A CAR Magazine report, published on December 23, 2022, uncovered that the electric pickup truck is known internally known as SC417. The British report, citing a company insider, had said that the Scout pickup truck will have a Double Cab configuration. Similarly, it’s equipped with all-wheel drive and two electric motors capable of producing up to 469 horsepower.

In Summer 2023, many global automakers began announcing the adoption of the NACS charging port for their EVs in the U.S. In the final month of the year, Volkswagen Group followed suit, confirming it will start using the NACS charging port in Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Scout EVs in 2025. Thus, the Scout electric truck will be chargeable at more than 15,000 Tesla Superchargers in the U.S. and Canada. Electrify America plans to offer the NACS connector at charging stations by 2025.

According to an Automobilwoche report dated October 5, 2022, Magna will develop the first Scout EV, which will be a full-size pickup. Incidentally, Kurt Bachmaier, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Magna Steyr, had told the German publication in September 2022 that the company wants to step into the U.S. market. Magna International has already developed the Fisker Ocean‘s platform and is manufacturing the SUV in Austria since November 2022. Magna International’s involvement in the development of the electric truck should help accelerate the process and ensure a timely launch.

Design

Volkswagen Group has not been forthcoming about the Scout electric truck, as the market launch is still quite far. It has released a few teasers to give us a fair idea about the silhouette, though. On June 21, 2023, it released a new picture at its Capital Markets Day event.

We can tell that the Scout electric pickup will have an upright front-end, with a sleek, concave upper part and a sporty and muscular lower fascia. The hood will be flat and be located high, giving the model a confident stance. It will feature ribs and could hide a voluminous ‘frunk.’

On the sides, the A-pillar and greenhouse will be quite edgy, and the door panels will have clean-sheet smoothness for high aerodynamic efficiency and classic simplicity, something that will be projected even by straight lines. Tall and wide tires, a high ground clearance, pronounced wheel arches, and large mirrors will clearly communicate the vehicle’s tough and rugged character. There’s a hint of dual-tone paint also in the first teaser that you see in this section.

2026 Scout pickup side profile teaser
The Scout electric truck teaser shows a normally-shaped crew cab model. Image Source: Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen Group briefed its Scout Motors plans to a small group, most likely International Harvester Scout owners or fans, to get feedback. A post from Facebook group Friends of the Binder Planet member Jeff Blade dated October 3, 2022, has some details. Blade found the official video shown to the group more intriguing than every Super Bowl commercial he has seen so far! According to Blade, the Scout electric truck will be truly American, very off-road capable, and aftermarket-customizable.

Chris Benjamin is leading the design work of Scout EVs. Prior to this assignment, he was the Vice President of Interior Design at Stellantis North America and the Director of Interior Design for Jeep, Wagoneer, Chrysler, Ram, and Dodge at Stellantis. He has worked at Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volvo as well.

The Scout pickup would sit on a bespoke electric platform, which would allow using its dimensions more efficiently. Like most electric trucks, it will come in a crew cab version. That said, there could be a market opening up for single cab and extended cab (light duty) electric trucks during the second half of the decade. Even though Scout will likely be a lifestyle brand, Volkswagen Group is not compromising on the capability of the trucks. From the initial sketches, it looks like it is designed to handle anything that comes its way.

We don’t have a reference point for its dimensions, but it looks like the Scout electric SUV will be quite a big pickup truck like the GMC Hummer EV SUV. However, it might not be as wide as the electric Hummer, as it doesn’t have clearance marker lights on the roof.

Scout electric front teaser
The Scout electric pickup truck will be notably wide and tall, with the capability to go on the trail. The official teaser shows the front design concept of Scout electric SUV, a lot of which would apply to the Scout electric truck as well. Image Source: Volkswagen Group

Features

Dr. Diess had suggested that the Scout electric truck will be Volkswagen Group’s most technologically advanced pickup. Speaking to TechCrunch, he hinted at features like a solar roof, vehicle-to-load (V2L), and rear-wheel steering for Scout models. A solar truck bed cover (as an accessory) could offer tangible range benefits, whereas features like rear-wheel steering and the ‘Multi-Flex Midgate’ have been implemented already by GM on Ultium-based electric truck models.

According to the TechCrunch report dated March 3, 2023, Scout electric truck will be a bit traditional on the inside, not over-digitalized like the Tesla Cybertruck. Keogh said Scout Motors wants this model to have “the mechanical nature” of a normal truck. He suggested physical controls will be available for adjusting the temperature and other essential functions.

Production

Production of the Scout electric truck will take place at a new Scout Motors dedicated EV plant in Blythewood (South Carolina), USA. Located on the Blythewood Industrial Site, which spans approximately 1,600 acres, the factory will cover an area of 1,100 acres and have an annual production capacity of over 200,000 units. The first unit will roll off the assembly line in 2026.

Volkswagen Group will invest USD 2 billion in the Scout Motors plant in South Carolina. The company may even manufacture Audi EVs, including an Audi pickup truck based on the same platform as the first Scout EV, at the new U.S. factory. Dr. Jan Spies will join Scout Motors as its Chief Production Officer in early 2024 and will oversee the launch of the Blythewood plant. Currently, he is the Head of Planning and Production Technology at Volkswagen AG.

Price & Release Date

The starting price of the Scout electric truck will be “a bit” higher than USD 40,000, CEO Scott Keogh said, as per the TechCrunch report dated March 3, 2023.

With the iconic Scout brand, by 2026, we will now also have an offering in the most attractive profit pools – the SUV and C-pickup segment.

Arno Antlitz, CFO and COO, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group Capital Markets Day 2023 on June 21, 2023)

The Scout electric truck will arrive after the Scout electric SUV in late 2026. However, we’ll start seeing its first test mules in the coming months, Automotive News said in a report citing Keogh on December 8, 2023.

Scout concept vehicle debuts this summer

Scout’s boss has reportedly revealed that the design is 85-95% ready and that the world debut (presumably of a near-production concept version) will take place in Q3 2024 (July-September 2024). He was going to attend what he called an interior seating buck that week, as per the report. In a video uploaded by Scout Motors on Youtube on December 29, 2023, the brand confirmed a Summer 2024 reveal for the first vehicle, which we think is also referring to the design concept.

The Scout electric pickup truck could be launched in right-hand drive countries like Australia and New Zealand as well. Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume said that its markets are to be finalized, and that work will be done when the company further advances with engineering, Drive said in a report on September 5, 2023. Ryan Davies, the Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Australia, has said that he’ll be on the first plane (to Scout Motors HQ in Tysons, Virginia,) to discuss the Australian launch, CarExpert reported the same day.

TopElectricSUV says

The Scout electric truck has the potential to be the next American workhorse. Pure-electric and performance-focused, it could be ideal for customers who spend most of their time outdoors and in worksites with challenging terrain. Scout Motors should make sure that it is affordable for the masses despite its capability and being all-electric, unlike the GMC Hummer EV Pickup that only a few can dream of owning.

Also Read: VW Group’s Scout electric SUV: Everything we know

Scout Electric truck FAQs

What is the Scout electric truck release date?

The Scout electric truck will enter production in 2026 and should arrive at dealers the same year.

What will be the Scout electric truck price?

The Scout electric truck will start at slightly over USD 40,000.

Which models will be Scout electric truck rivals?

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the Scout electric truck