The new rugged Scout brand from Volkswagen remains on track to debut its electric pickup and SUV next year. VW Scout CEO Scott Keogh says the designs are upwards of 95% complete.
Keogh told Automotive News that Scout remains on track to debut its first electric truck and SUV in the third quarter of 2022. We should begin to see our first prototypes hit the streets in the next few months.
“The design of the product is, I would say, 85, 90, 95 percent of the way there Keogh said. “Proportions readily dialed in, exterior design dialed in.”
Scout hired former Stellantis designer Chris Benjamin in May to help lead the design of its rugged EV series. Benjamin is known for his work on recent Jeep and Ram models.
Keogh said Benjamin’s “thumbprints are all over many of the most beloved off-road vehicles” available today. Benjamin will defy the “next chapter of design for Scout,” the brand’s leader explained.
Although most VW (and Audi) vehicles are European models adjusted for the US, Scout brand EVs will be specifically designed for the market.
“It’s a completely unique platform — ground up being engineered and developed,” Keogh said. He also shut down rumors that it will be a modified version of Volkswagen’s MEB platform. “This is 100 percent capable, American, robust, full platform.”
VW Scout to debut electric pickup and SUV in 2024
The brand will launch a “large B SUV” and then a full-size electric pickup. He emphasized those are the two most profitable segments in the US.
Rather than getting “sidetracked” like many brands, Scout will initially focus on the two models. Keogh said the brand would get there, but there’s still much to finish with the first two EVs.
Scout expects to begin construction on its SC assembly plant at the beginning of 2024. Once up and running, Scout aims to build 200,000 EVs annually. The brand plans to begin production in 2026, with deliveries shortly after.
The brand is credited with building one of the first true competitors to Jeep, even before the Ford Bronco or Chevy Blazer. Scout’s roots trace back to the early 1960s, with its rugged 800 SUV and pickup paving the way for what we see rolling on the streets today.
VW acquired the rights to Scout in 2021, later confirming it would resurrect the rugged brand as all-electric.
“Since Scout was iconically a rugged SUV brand, that’s what we’ll bring to life,” Keogh said. The brand has already held clinics in California, Dallas, and Denver, where shoppers could look at “proportion models” and interior designs.
According to Keogh, the turnout was impressive. “Frankly, the clinics were some of the best clinics that the Volkswagen Group has ever had, period, in the United States.”
Last month, Australian news outlet Kleine Zeitung broke the news that Scout chose Magna Steyr to help develop its EVs.
Keogh described it as an engineering partnership as a good way “to get the car to market on time.” He said Magna would have no role in producing Scout EVs.
Scout has three clusters of engineering teams led by VW Group vet Burkhardt Hunke. The team includes experience from Tesla, Rivian, Audi, Porsche, and VW.
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