A teaser shot shows a live demonstration of the Scout EV prototypeIn an alternate universe where the international Harvest auto brand never went away, you can visit Scoutmotors.com to configure your very own futuristic electric SUV.

or in this. It’s real.

The trend of retro SUVs meets the trend of electric cars

The past few years have seen the re-emergence of an entire generation of classic SUVs. You can buy a 2023 Ford Bronco or a Jeep Wagoneer—names that were around when Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House.

They also saw the first electric off-road vehicles—super-capable machines like the GMC Hummer, with its “crab walk” four-wheel steering, and the Rivian R1T, with a separate motor for each wheel.

These trends will converge around 2026 when Scout plans to release its first new vehicle in over a quarter of a century.

It’s a Volkswagen project. The German automaker owns the rights to the Scout name through an indirect round of mergers and acquisitions. I’ve decided to revive the name, once associated with affordable off-road vehicles, with a sub-brand.

A glimpse of what’s to come

The new Scout will be fully electric and made in the United States. We’re not yet clear on whether the new company will sell it through Volkswagen’s existing dealer network or just online. But we do have a glimpse of the first scout vehicle.

Scoutmotors.com launched this week. There, you’ll find a jobs section, a forum (where the Scout leadership asks for suggestions on future products), and this — a demo of the SUV concept.

The vague and straightforward picture doesn’t give us much to go on. But we can see hints that the new Scouts may be on the right track. It shows off a believably boxy, upright design that is the evolution of the legendary Scout II that left the market in the early 1980s. It shows impressive ground clearance, although the low angle of the picture could be misleading.

Those classic Scouts were convertible SUVs. In rendering, light appears to shine through roof windows located below the roof rack, which may indicate the removable roof panels.

Pickup is also coming

A press release announcing the site’s launch mentions “an all-electric truck and SUV to carry the Scout’s legacy into the future,” so expect to see a truck version as well.

Scout’s first product launch is years away, and that’s all we get for now. But Scout CEO and veteran Volkswagen veteran Scott Keogh gives a shout out to longtime fans in the press release, saying, “We started this forum to foster an open dialogue with members of our community, to hear what they can expect in all-new Scout vehicles.”

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