VW Group’s Scout SUV for the U.S.: Everything we know

  • Will be the Volkswagen Group's most 'American' model in history
  • Poised to compete with SUVs from GM, Ford & Rivian
  • To be designed and made in the U.S.; production to take place near Columbia, S.C.
  • Will be priced from around USD 50,000 when it hits the market in late 2026

Update: ‘Model Name’ section added and ‘Specifications,’ ‘Features,’ ‘Manufacturing,’ ‘Scout SUV Release Date,’ and ‘Price’ sections updated.

As part of its heightened efforts to reach its targeted market share of 10% in the U.S. by 2030, Volkswagen Group has announced a new truck brand called Scout. The company has already given two models the green signal for launch, one of which is a Scout SUV.

Here are the preliminary details on the exciting future launch from Scout Motors, which will land at dealers in the final months of 2026.

Why Scout?

As demand for large, rugged SUVs (R-SUVs) continues to grow in the United States, Volkswagen Group sees electric models as feasible in this segment. With the company’s recent embrace of electric powertrains, the company is well-positioned to enter this growing segment.

Scout Motors, a newly established company under Volkswagen Group, independent of present American operations, will launch Scout EVs. Scott Keogh became the President and CEO of Scout Motors on September 1, 2022. Before joining Scout Motors, Keogh was the President and CEO and Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) and the CEO of Volkswagen North American Region.

In an interview with TechCrunch (via YouTube), Dr. Herbert Diess, former CEO, Volkswagen Group, explained why the company decided on a new brand for its truck models, and why the Scout name. After acquiring Navistar in 2021, Dr. Diess said that the company had the idea to use the rich history of America’s first off-road SUV, the International Harvester Scout. Relaunching an American brand, in the words of Dr. Diess, “is a huge opportunity.”


Scout Motors has filed 61 trademark applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Many of these seem suitable to be on the rear of the electric SUV as either names or equipment lines:

  • Aristocrat
  • Rallye
  • Travelstar
  • Travelstar XL
  • Hauler
  • Trailstar
  • Forma
  • Tellus
  • SSII
  • Sno-Star
  • Terrastar
  • Scout II
  • Scout 800
  • Scout 80
  • SR-2
  • Tythe
  • Terra


New platform

The design work and engineering of the Scout SUV will take place in the U.S. This model will be based on a new dedicated EV platform honed for off-road prowess. Scout Motors will pay special attention to core American SUV attributes like ground clearance, approach angle, axle robustness, and payload capacity while developing this model. Volkswagen Group has said that the new platform would offer “credibility beyond the existing Volkswagen Group portfolio.”

Following its interview with Keogh, TechCrunch said in a report on March 3, 2023, that the Scout SUV, though riding on a newly developed body-on-frame platform, will share some components with other Volkswagen Group models, such as air-conditioning parts, motors, and inverters.

NACS port

The company has confirmed that Scout EVs will have an NACS port, which will allow customers to charge them at the wide and rapidly growing Tesla Supercharger network that currently consists of more than 15,000 Superchargers spread across North America. Electrify America plans to start rolling out a charging solution for EVs with the NACS port by 2025.

Scout SUV 2026 official image side view sketch
The all-wheel drive Scout SUV could have 450-500 hp on tap. Image: VW Group

Meanwhile, a report by CAR Magazine on December 23, 2022, surfaced with a few interesting details regarding the project, citing a company insider.

While we do know that the codename for the Scout SUV is SC416, the British publication didn’t offer the detailed specs of the SUV. As it suggests that the electric SUV will have commonalities with its pickup stablemate, we envision the SUV to borrow the 469 hp twin electric motors and all-wheel drive system from the pickup, for the top-spec variant.

Magna International, the company that helped Fisker develop the Ocean, is involved in the development of the Scout electric SUV. On December 8, 2023, Automotive News cited Keogh stating Magna International as Scout Motor’s engineering partner. Initially, due to a shortage of engineers, Magna International’s expertise was crucial. Currently, though, the project’s development is being directed by Scout Motors’ own team of in-house engineers.


The Beetle and ID. Buzz were reinterpreted with what made those cars so popular, and based upon that, we’re confident that designers of the VW Group company will bring back many of the old touches. The highlighted rectangle in the picture above is the teaser of the Scout electric SUV and Scout electric pickup. The teaser is tiny, but it reveals quite a lot of details.

The Scout SUV will look like a proper American utility vehicle. It will have short overhangs that work in the favor of approach and departure angles, an upright front-end, straight lines and smooth surfaces, a sleek and angular greenhouse, chunky wheels wrapped in off-road tires, and vertical tail lamps.

Our rendering of the Scout electric SUV is a throwback to the 1970’s model (inspired by the color charts courtesy of oldinternationaltrucks.com), while maintaining the proportions and hard points revealed by the official teasers. Additionally, production vehicle elements like sensors, antenna, mirror, charging port, door handles, and indicator lights are blended in the recipe.

Looks pretty mean!

The Scout electric SUV appears to have a confident stance. Its high-set hood has indents that convey strength and give it a burly appearance. In addition to providing excellent rear visibility, the large, rectangular mirrors match the model’s boxy shape. Tall and wide tires should deliver plenty of ground clearance and grip on and off the road. Big glass panels all around should give great visibility of the surroundings and let in plenty of natural light.

We’re confident that the Scout SUV will be a fine mix of classic and futuristic elements, now that Chris Benjamin has taken over as the company’s Chief Design Officer. Benjamin began his career as part of the design team at Mercedes-Benz. He later worked at BMW and Volvo as well, and most recently, he led interior design at Stellantis North America.

Inputs from Scout Harvester owners

Scout Motors is likely sharing plans and taking feedback from current International Harvester Scout customers for its comeback. On October 3, 2022, Jeff Blade, a member of the Facebook group Friends of the Binder Planet, said he was among a small group of people who talked with officials of the newly established company and exchanged their opinions and expectations about the Scout electric models. The company presented a video of the future plans, and it was better than any Super Bowl commercial to date, so good that it gave him goosebumps!

According to Blade, Scout Motors’ electric vehicles will have hints of the classic models and allow customization after purchase. The pickup will be a true American truck and possess high off-road capabilities.


While speaking to TechCrunch, Dr. Diess discussed several features that the Scout EVs could have. He suggested that vehicle-to-load (V2L), rear-wheel steering, and solar charging would be among the key features of these electric truck models. Since the Scout SUV would have a large, flattish roof, the solar panels could offer tangible benefits in range.

Physical controls

According to the TechCrunch report dated March 3, 2023, the Scout SUV’s software will come from CARIAD. The architecture is in place, but while that will be shared with other Volkswagen Group products, the user experience will be significantly different. The Scout SUV won’t be over-digitalized like the Tesla Cybertruck, though, as Keogh said the company wants this model to have “a lot of the mechanical nature” of a traditional SUV. He suggested this model will have physical controls for adjusting the cabin temperature, seat heaters, infotainment volume, and airflow.

On February 15, 2024, during an interaction with InsideEVs.com, Benjamin said that easy, functional, and tactile manual controls are very important for frequently used functions. In addition to more convenience, regular switches, buttons, and knobs should prove to be more reliable than capacitive touch surfaces in the long run. They may be conventional, but they’re unlikely to feature a retro design.


Production of the Scout SUV will take place at a dedicated Scout Motors factory in Blythewood (South Carolina), USA. The first unit may roll off the assembly line as early as late 2026. Built with an investment of USD 2 billion, the new EV factory will have an annual production capacity of over 200,000 units. Volkswagen Group may task its future U.S. plant with the production of Audi EVs as well.

Scout Motors South Carolina plant rendering
A part of the ~1,600-acre Blythewood Industrial Site and located off Interstate 77, the Scout Motors EV plant will cover an area of 1,100 acres. Image Source: Volkswagen Group

Scout Motors has hired Dr. Jan Spies, the Head of Planning and Production Technology for Volkswagen AG, as its Chief Production Officer. The veteran automotive production expert oversees the establishment of the Blythewood factory, the construction of which began on February 15, 2024.

Scout SUV Release Date

On December 29, 2023, Scout Motors revealed a teaser on its YouTube channel confirming the Summer 2024 reveal of the first vehicle. On December 8, 2023, citing Keogh, Automotive News reported that the design was 85-95% ready and that an interior seating buck was going to be conducted that week.

We’ll start seeing camouflaged test mules of the Scout SUV much earlier, as Scout Motors plans to start deploying them on the roads in the coming months, as per the report. The production version will start arriving at U.S. dealers by 2027.

The Scout SUV could be a desirable alternative to lower variants of the GMC Electric Hummer SUV and the Rivian R1S in the U.S. market. Volkswagen Group could have a small volume earmarked for exports, but the focus would be America, where the company is far behind competitors and wants to improve its market share.

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)

Once production normalizes, the Scout SUV could be sold in UK, Australia and New Zealand as well. Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume has said that the final worldwide marketing planning of the Scout electric SUV will be complete when it further advances with engineering, Drive reported on September 5, 2023. Thus, while it hasn’t decided to make a right-hand drive version, it hasn’t ruled out the possibility yet.


The prices of the Scout electric SUV could fall in the high-USD 40,000s Keogh said on February 15, 2024 (via InsideEVs.com). We expect high-end configurations with more kit and off-road capability to set customers back by around USD 65,000.


According to a report from Automotive News, Volkswagen Group’s decision to launch the Scout brand without involving U.S. Volkswagen dealers has not been well-received by them. The fact that the new brand will be used to launch truck models while ignoring dealers’ longstanding requests for a pickup model, has made the announcement even more disappointing.

Several dealer associations reached out to Keogh, while some are about to, demanding more details about how Volkswagen Group plans to market Scout models. Even if the company doesn’t allow selling them through existing Volkswagen Group of America dealerships (of any brand), current dealers would want to get the first opportunity to launch a Scout showroom.

Trying to calm furious dealers, Keogh hinted that there could be simpler, less expensive, Volkswagen offshoots of Scout models, saying the “rugged” electric platform that will underpin them “could definitely provide an opportunity for non-Scout vehicles.” A firm plan for a VW truck launch in America doesn’t exist as of yet, though.

Previously, Dr. Diess told TechCrunch that Volkswagen Group is yet to decide whether it will sell Scout models at Volkswagen dealerships or dedicated Scout dealerships. However, now it seems very unlikely that the company will offer Scout EVs at Volkswagen showrooms, as the brand isn’t a part of Volkswagen Group of America. He had also said that the new brand could contribute around 2% to its targeted 10% market share by the end of the decade.

Scout SUV’s Audi offshoot

Audi could leverage Volkswagen Group’s upcoming rugged truck platform to generate a vehicle. Automotive News asked Oliver Hoffmann whether Audi could develop a model based on the same platform as the Scout SUV and Scout pickup, to which he said that it is considering that possibility. Hoffmann is Audi’s BoM member responsible for Technical Development.

This isn’t the first time the German luxury automaker has shown interest in an electric off-roader. At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA 2019), the Audi AI-TRAIL quattro, the fourth member of the Audi:AI series of concept EVs, signaled that Ingolstadt is exploring the idea of an EV for adventure mobility off the beaten track.

TopElectricSUV says

Volkswagen Group’s Scout electric SUV is shaping up to be a unique and innovative model, and unlike any other from the brand’s history. Our expectation is that it should look, perform, and offer vast customization capabilities similar to a Wrangler or Bronco. It is probably aimed at buyers who prefer something more luxurious than the Atlas, one that is fun and off-road-ready, and has none of that maintenance, fumes, or noise of a gas engine!

Scout SUV FAQs

What is the Scout SUV release date?

The Scout SUV enters production in 2026 as the reborn brand’s first model. A near-production concept debuts this summer.

What will be the Scout SUV price?

We expect the base Scout SUV to cost around USD 50,000.

Which models will be the Scout SUV rivals?

Despite its lower price, the Scout SUV should compete with the Rivian R1S and basic versions of the GMC Hummer EV SUV.

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the Scout SUV