Volkswagen May Build an All-Electric International Harvester Scout Off-Roader

The International Harvester Scout is a legendary SUV. While off-road SUVs are very common now, the Scout was blazing trails around the world many decades ago. With its off-road prowess, it helped pioneer the off-road SUV segment and influence the off-road SUVs of today. The last year of production for the International Harvester Scout was 1980, and for many years the iconic model appeared to be dead. However, the Scout could be resurrected. Volkswagen may build an all-electric version of the iconic off-roader.

Is an International Harvester Scout EV coming soon?

Orange and black 1979 International Harvester Scout driving by sand dunes
1979 International Harvester Scout | Shane Reynolds/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

According to Volkswagen insiders, the automaker may release an International Harvester Scout EV model in the future. However, the timetable for this is not clear. The name of the proposed model may just simply be the Scout. Johan De Nysschen, Volkswagen Group of America’s Chief Operating Officer, recently brought up the possibility of an all-electric Scout at a media event. 

De Nysschen noted that Volkswagen owns the naming rights of the Scout name via its commercial truck division. He also stated that the Scout name is valuable, given its high esteem and history with the off-roading community.

The Scout EV may take on all-electric versions of the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler

In the heyday of the International Harvester Scout, its closest competitors were the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler. This competition may continue with the Scout EV. Electric versions of the Ford Bronco and the Jeep Wrangler are in the works. Because of this, one of the motivations behind building a Scout EV is to take on these electric SUVs. 

It’s unlikely that Volkswagen would even build a gas-powered Scout. The automaker only plans on producing electric vehicles in the future, so it would probably take this same route with the Scout.

How much will the Scout EV cost?

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Despite targeting electric versions of the Bronco and Wrangler as competitors of the Scout EV, De Nysschen envisions it more like an all-electric Rivian R1S SUV but at a lower cost. The Rivian R1S is priced around $70,000, but De Nysschen targets a price of around $40,000 for the Scout EV. 

With Volkswagen’s recent experience with electric cars and the technology to back it up, an all-electric Scout is very feasible. The Scout EV could use a modified version of the Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle platform. With electric motors for both the front and rear, the MEB platform already has all-wheel drive capabilities. For the Scout EV, the MEB platform could be fitted with an off-road suspension to handle the rigors of rough terrains and long-distance travel. 

For enhanced traction when heading out into the wilderness, Volkwagen could add its brake-based torque-vectoring system. Alternatively, the Scout EV could feature locking differentials. 

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Something to keep in mind, however, is that this is all speculation for a release of an all-electric Scout EV. Nothing here is a certainty. However, all signs point toward this speculation turning into reality. Volkswagen recently took control of the Scout name when its commercial truck division merged with Navistar, the owner of Scout. 

Volkswagen will likely want to capitalize on the value that the Scout name offers. Also, with the increasing demand for both electric and off-road vehicles, there likely would be no shortage of demand for a Scout EV.

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