The Scout revival is moving full speed ahead. If you haven’t heard, Volkswagen owns the rights to the Scout brand name and plans to bring it back to life as an automaker focused on electric trucks and SUVs.
I’m extremely curious to see how this turns out, as it could easily be awesome — or an awful use of a classic American car name.
First things first, though, Scout has to start building these things, and the first steps are underway.
Where Does the Scout Name Come From?
Originally, the Scout was a model from the International Harvester brand, which produced road vehicles like the Scout, the Travelall, the A Series and R Series trucks, and more. Additionally, they built agricultural equipment, commercial trucks, motorhomes, and earth movers. At some point in the 1980s, the truck portion of the business became Navistar, and in 2020 Volkswagen bought out the remaining shares of that part of the business, which included the rights to the Scout name.
The original Scout was a Jeep competitor. The first Scout arrived in 1960 as a 1961 model, and International produced different versions until 1980. More competition, like the Ford Bronco and the Chevy Blazer, joined the fray. And like those other models, the Scout too grew in size. It was literally called the Scout II.
The Scout, both in its early-80s body style and larger Scout II iteration, is an icon of the 4×4 world. So seeing the potential VW is tapping into with this brand is cool. Electric off-roaders can be very good, since torque is immediately available when you need it. Plus, the torque can be moved to exactly the wheel that most needs it at a given moment.
Where Will Scout Build Its Vehicles?
The modern Scout Motors is ready to bring this all to life. That means it needs a production facility, and now it has one. Scout Motors will build its vehicles at a plant in South Carolina. The plan is to begin production in 2026. And with this new plant, you have new jobs, which is always great to hear. VW says the Scout Motors plant will bring on 4,000 new jobs. Volkswagen is pouring $2 billion into this plant in Blythewood, South Carolina, and it should be ready to build more than 200,000 vehicles per year when running at full tilt.
And Scout says this plant is solely a Scout plant.
What Will Future Scout Models Look Like?
The brand has only released teaser renderings, but the design philosophy is heading in the right direction. The truck and SUV looks squared off and the tires look rugged. I really hope Scout sticks the landing on this one.
I love vintage boxy off-road vehicles. I own one myself, not a Scout but a first-gen Mitsubishi Montero, so I truly appreciate and enjoy these types of machines. And I’m more curious than ever about what a modern electric Scout will look like and what it can do out on the trail. I’m sitting here daydreaming about tossing a mountain bike in the back of the pickup version and heading off on a bit of adventure.
I’ll have to wait until 2026 — at least — for that to happen. So, for now, I will hop on Autotrader and see what boxy gas-powered rigs are up for sale. You should do the same and sound off in the comments if you find anything cool out there.
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