Volkswagen Set to Reveal New Scout SUV Later This Year

German automaker Volkswagen has announced plans to reveal the first model under its new Scout off-road SUV brand by the end of 2023, with sales expected to begin in 2024. The new Scout SUV aims to challenge established players in the American off-road vehicle market like Jeep and Ford’s Bronco series.

The Scout brand has a long history in the US, having originally been introduced in 1961 as International Harvester’s competitor to smaller 4x4s like the Jeep CJ series and the Bronco. The Scout continued production under International Harvester, and then Navistar, until 1980. Volkswagen acquired the Scout name and branding rights in 2022 under its Scout brand revival plans.

Volkswagen Set to Reveal New Scout SUV
Source – Youtube

Details on the first new Scout model are limited for now, but we do know that it will be a midsize SUV built in the US. Volkswagen is investing over $800 million to prepare its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee for Scout production, which will also build a 5-seat and 7-seat version of the new Scout.

The Scout SUV promises to deliver impressive off-road capabilities paired with electrification options focused on sustainability. Volkswagen states that the Scout will feature the most advanced drive system and infotainment options ever fitted to an American off-road SUV. So we can expect cutting-edge tech features onboard when it debuts.

Volkswagen’s CEO, Ralf Brandstätter, said “With the new Scout brand, we want to conquer the hearts of American pick-up and SUV drivers. As is so often the case at Volkswagen, we are taking a new approach by reinventing the category instead of adapting existing patterns.”

Source – SlashGear

While details remain scarce, some renders and spy shots offer clues on what we can expect from the production Scout model’s design when it debuts likely towards the end of 2023. The Scout’s styling looks to take heavy inspiration from the original 1970s Scout models, with a boxy profile, flat surfaces, and round headlights. We expect chunky off-road tires, increased ride height and ground clearance, skid plates, and tow hooks to convey that rugged off-road image as well.

Powertrain options haven’t been confirmed yet but will likely include gas and electric options given Volkswagen’s plans to offer multiple electrified models across its brands in the coming years. Some rumors point to a 400 hp turbocharged V6 engine being offered on higher Scout variants. A hybrid gas-electric Scout variant could also allow for some off-roading ability paired with improved fuel efficiency for daily commute and urban use.

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With Ford finding immense success after reviving the Bronco nameplate, Volkswagen hopes to replicate that winning formula by leveraging the Scout’s heritage. The Scout brand has strong name recognition and nostalgia value in America, especially amongst older 4X4 and off-road enthusiasts. Volkswagen is investing heavily to ensure that the new 2024 Scout delivers the ruggedness and capability expected from the Scout nameplate.

The Scout will be critical to Volkswagen’s plans to grow its US light truck and SUV market share from the current 2.5% share to over 5% by 2030. The brand has struggled so far to make major inroads with American buyers focused on trucks and SUVs. As interest in electric vehicles rises globally, an electrified Scout SUV could tap into a crucial new demographic for sustainable adventure transport.

When it debuts late this year before going on sale in 2024, the new Scout will compete squarely against mainstream 4X4 SUV offerings like the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, and Toyota 4Runner as well as electric rivals like the Rivian R1S. If Volkswagen manages to strike the right balance of modern tech, electric options, and off-road ruggedness with the new Scout – it could have a winner on its hands to rewrite the German automaker’s story in the lucrative American SUV marketplace.

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