It’s no secret that electrical autos are the long run, however electrical vans and SUVs, specifically, are a shortly rising class. Upstarts like Rivian are producing rugged battery-powered autos, GM’s Hummer model is returning as an EV, and now one other participant with a well-known identify is about to enter the area: the Scout—resurrected as an electrical SUV and truck. Volkswagen introduced this week that it plans to launch an all-new electrical automobile model utilizing the identify and heritage of the legendary Worldwide Harvester Scout vans.
Based on a Volkswagen press launch, the brand new Scouts can be designed, engineered, and produced within the U.S. for the American market. Though managed by its German mum or dad, Scout can be a separate model from VW. The automaker has solely launched renderings of the brand new autos (an SUV and a pickup), however as you’d anticipate, they bear a robust resemblance to the boxy form of the unique Scout.
The brand new vans can be constructed utilizing a completely new EV base platform, and VW expects to unveil the primary prototypes subsequent yr. The primary EV Scouts will begin rolling off the meeting line in 2026—nicely over 40 years after the final inside combustion Scouts left the Worldwide Harvester manufacturing unit.
So why all the thrill? The Scout is a vaunted mannequin amongst off-roaders, and it has a protracted historical past within the American truck market. The unique Scout was launched for the 1961 mannequin yr. It was a easy, rugged 4×4 designed to compete with the Willys Jeep, one of many few four-wheel-drive utility autos obtainable within the civilian market on the time. The primary-generation Scout was designed to be as versatile as doable, due to options like a detachable prime and a fold-down windshield—and it was produced primarily in a wagon physique fashion.
Though numerous engine and transmission combos have been supplied over its prolonged manufacturing run (it was produced till the 1980 mannequin yr), the Scout at all times featured the reliable combo of switch case-driven four-wheel drive and stable axles, which gave it glorious efficiency off the pavement.
With its boxy look and off-road chops, the Scout helped outline the 4×4 class as we all know it at the moment—and meaning the brand new Scouts could have large footwear to fill. However with electrical SUVs already hitting the highway (each paved and unpaved), the Scout would possibly as soon as once more have the prospect to pioneer the way forward for 4x4s.
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