The Volkswagen International Scout is said to be poised for a comeback in the coming years.
Details about the Volkswagen International Scout, the born-anew International Harvester Scout, are beginning to emerge. Facts remain elusive but word on the street is that the model is being developed as a true off-roader.
Jeff Bade, a prominent member of the vintage Scout community (yes there is such a thing on Facebook) has reported that he got to talk with some of the engineers and designers who are working to bring the project to light and even had the chance to look at prototypes.
While Bade didn’t post any photos he did say that the community and history are “very important” to the folks in charge of resurrecting the Scout due to their desire to stay as true to the original as possible.
But you might wind up disappointed if you are waiting for the AMC’s 258-cubic-inch straight-six to go back into production.
Instead, the SUV and pickup variants of the Volkswagen International Scout will be released as true off-roaders, designed to get down and dirty on rough terrain.
And models in the rebooted Scout range will be offered exclusively with an electric powertrain, according to reports.
But Bade said he has been told that they won’t ride on an existing platform like the MEB architecture that underpins the ID. Buzz and other models. That could mean that Volkswagon could, in fact, use a platform developed specifically for the new Scout project.
Bade added that the aftermarket is “very important” to the Scout team at Volkswagen – and that owners will even have the option of customizing and working on their truck.
“This is not going to follow a Tesla philosophy,” he noted.
Affordability will also play an important role in shaping the new Scout models, Bade noted.
We’re talking affordable compared to some other high-end SUVs. Somehow VW will have to strike a balance between the pocketbook and expensive EV technology.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
“This will not be a 40-plus-year-old truck; we already have that,” Bade summed up, adding that “it’s still early so obviously things are going to change, and some details were not known and realistically haven’t been decided.”
We do know that the Scout models will be developed and built in the U.S. intended for the North American market.
The first prototypes of the Volkswagen International Scout models will apparently debut before the end of 2023, and production will tentatively begin in 2026.
Volkswagen has said it hopes to sell approximately 250,000 Scouts annually.
Released in 1961, the original Scout was an off-roader and envisioned as a simple, go-anywhere small truck that could work on a farm or take families on a long camping trip.
International Harvester offered the first-generation model (called “80” internally) with several removable top options.
Those included the vinyl Cab Top, a steel Cab Top, and a steel Travel Top.
The first two options made the Scout a pickup, while the latter turned it into a wagon.
All Scouts came with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (which was essentially a V8 cut in half) rated at 93 hp and 135-pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive came standard, and four-wheel drive was optional.
With excellent off-road capacity, a practical design, and a cute look, the Scout quickly won over American buyers.
Pricing started at $1,771 for rear-wheel drive and $2,139 for four-wheel drive in 1961. Those figures would translate to around $17,200 and $20,700, respectively.
International Harvester made numerous updates to the Scout during the 1960s.
For instance, roll-down windows became available as an option in 1962, while in 1965 there was a new model called the “800” internally and characterized by a newly designed front end and a longer list of standard features.
Auto buyers who wanted more power received just that when in 1966 the Scout saw the addition of a V8 as well as a turbocharged 2.2-liter Comanche four-cylinder rated at 111 horsepower.
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