Volkswagen has quietly dropped another teaser for its upcoming Scout electric off-roaders.
What appear to be sketches of the North American-focused SUV and pickup were included in its 2023 Capital Markets Day presentation.
While small and grainy, we do get a better look at the rather retro front-end styling of the ute, as well as its interesting ‘floating roof’ treatment.
The SUV also appears to have a prominent body-colour B-pillar, for a different look to previous teasers.
The new Scout models will enter production at a plant near Columbia, South Carolina from late 2026.
The company is investing US$2 billion (A$2.96 billion) in getting this production facility set up, and has previously indicated it plans a groundbreaking for mid-2023.
At full capacity, Scout projects the South Carolina production facility will be able manufacture more than 200,000 vehicles annually.
The Volkswagen Group’s decision to manufacture Scout vehicles in the US appears related to President Joe Biden’s recently signed tax, climate, and healthcare law stipulating EVs and part of their battery components must be built in the country to qualify for a US$7500 federal tax credit.
The Scout electric pickup and SUV will be built on a “newly-designed all-electric platform” that’s claimed to offer credible off-road prowess.
Internal engineering is claimed to be focused on attributes including ground clearance, approach angles, robust axles, payload capacity, electric range, and “new digital features”.
Scout teasers have been mysterious, consisting largely of sketches and shadowy outlines. Given they won’t enter production until 2026, it’s perhaps not surprising the new brand wants to keep some air of suspense.
Although right-hand drive production hasn’t been confirmed, Volkswagen Australia has put up its hand for the rugged electric ute and SUV range.
“Scout’s American-focused, it’s left-hand drive at this point only. If they determine that they want to build a right-hand drive variant, I guarantee that I’ll be on a plane straight over there to spruik the case for Australia,” Ryan Davies, director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Australia, told CarExpert in December 2022.
“That’s a pretty exciting product. I think there’s plenty of scope [for Scout].
“I’ve no other insight or information on [Scout models] but from what we can see, they would have good application here in Australia and should they decide to go to right-hand drive, I think Volkswagen Group Australia would be incredibly interested.”
Volkswagen came into possession of the Scout name in 2021 when its Traton truck division bought Navistar, the parent company of International Harvester, the company which built the Jeep-style Scout utes and SUVs from 1961 to 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.
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