Rumors of a rugged electric SUV from Volkswagen originally emerged in late 2018 and it wasn’t until early 2020 when they returned. Weird names like “T-Rug” and “Ruggdzz” have been speculated, but it looks as though the model could carry an oh-so-familiar moniker – Scout. Motor Trend attended a media meeting with Volkswagen Group of America Chief Operating Officer, Johan De Nysschen, who brought up the topic of a zero-emissions off-roader.
VW now owns the rights to the “Scout” name through Traton, a subsidiary joining together Man, Scania, and Navistar brands under the same corporate umbrella. For those unfamiliar with the latter, Navistar was created back in 1986 as a direct successor of the old International Harvester company and it owns the “Scout” trademark to this day.
Traton acquired Navistar at the beginning of July for a cool $3.7 billion, effectively meaning VW is now in the possession of the “Scout” name to use for a future model. Specifically, the trademark refers to cars, light- and medium-duty trucks, and SUVs with a gross vehicle weight of more than 2,400 pounds (1,088 kilograms).
MT speculates “Scout” could become a separate brand rather than a VW, adding the model could even be sold in standalone dealerships rather than sharing the showroom floor with Volkswagens. It’s highly unlike it will go by the name of “International Harvester Scout” considering agricultural company Case IH has been in the possession of the “International Harvester” name since 1985.
Name aside, a potential all-terrain EV from Wolfsburg is likely still many years away. After all, the German brand has teased the Trinity sedan due to be released in 2026, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean the Scout will come after that, VW has bigger fish to fry. New EV models include the ID. Buzz due next year, followed by the Aero B sedan in 2023, and the ID.1 / ID.2 coming in 2025 after being previewed earlier this month by the ID. Life concept at IAA Munich.
It remains a mystery which platform it would use seeing as how VW has already announced it will merge MEB and PPE to create a single Scalable Systems Platform (SSP). The aforementioned Trinity will be the first high-volume model to use the underpinnings, which will obviously be shared with the rest of the VW Group brands to achieve economies of scale.
With Jeep hinting at an electric Wrangler and Ford also suggesting a Bronco EV is in the offing, it would make sense for VW to want a piece of the action with its own off-road-oriented EV.