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2026 Scout: Volkswagen teases electric off-roader

Volkswagen’s new electric off-roader brand, Scout Motors, has teased its first model.

The shadowy image, published on Scout’s new website, shows the blocky styling of the unnamed model that has previously been teased in sketch form.

Like the sketches, the teaser image shows the gentle slope of the front end’s leading edge, which flows into an otherwise bluff, rectilinear shape.

Scout will offer both an SUV and a pickup truck.

The sketches revealed the Scout models will feature blocky styling, while an upturned belt line pays homage to old International Harvester Scouts.

In addition to launching its website, the new brand has also created an online message board. It’s intended for use not just by users who want to stay up-to-date about the brand, but also by fans of the old Scout.

The first concept versions of the ute and SUV will be revealed in 2023, with production to kick off in 2026. It’s unlikely they’ll share anything with the internal-combustion Amarok.

The new off-roaders won’t be rebadged versions of other Volkswagen Group products. VW says the company is being formed to “design, engineer, and manufacture pick-up and rugged” models for the US market.

Instead of the MEB platform being used for vehicles like the ID.3 and ID.4, the R-SUV range (as VW has dubbed it) will be built on a “new technical platform concept”.

“After Volkswagen’s successful turnaround in the US, we are now taking the opportunity to further strengthen our position in one of the most significant growth markets for EVs,” said Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess.

“Electrification provides a historic opportunity to 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.”

The company is forecasting annual sales of 250,000 vehicles, though it hasn’t spoken of a presence for the brand outside of North America.

Volkswagen isn’t the only company developing a boxy, electric off-roader.

Rivian already has the R1S SUV and R1T pickup, Jeep has previewed its upcoming Recon due mid-decade, and Mercedes-Benz has an electric G-Class in development.

Over in China, BYD is establishing a premium brand called Yangwang, with a boxy SUV spied testing. Chery is also introducing the Jetour T-1, which bears a resemblance to the Land Rover Defender.

Looking more broadly at electric pickup trucks, there will soon be a vast number of options in the North American market. The Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning will be joined by the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Ram 1500 BEV, GMC Sierra EV and Tesla Cybertruck in the coming years.

Volkswagen gained the rights to the Scout badge when it purchased heavy truck manufacturer Navistar, founded in 1986 as the successor to International Harvester.

The Scout name was applied to a Jeep rival from the International Harvester company between 1961 and 1980.

Produced in the US state of Indiana, it was available with a range of hard- and soft-top body styles, and featured a pickup option.

MORE: Forgotten nameplates: Scout

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