The Bronco launched in 2020 enjoys immense credit with American crossing enthusiasts. However, the Scout of the revival will not be its carbon copy. Rather, this all-terrain vehicle will skip the “thermal engines” box and take the path of 100% electric all-wheel drive directly. In all likelihood, the Volkswagen Group’s MEB modular electric platform will be used, instead of the Bronco’s heavy separate chassis. The latter is truly cut out for crossing, with extreme travel suspensions: it is hard to see how Volkswagen could obtain the same result with the MEB monocoque structure.
Read alsoWhy Ford is resurrecting the Bronco in the US
When he first publicly discussed the Scout’s resurrection project in September 2021, Volkswagen Group of America boss Johan de Nysschen admitted that this vehicle would target the all-electric SUV category, rather than that of 4×4 pure and hard. A way to stifle the rumor of a cloning of the Bronco at Volkswagen.
Without a 4×4 in its family tree, Volkswagen lacks the legitimacy to attack the Ford Bronco
Conceived as the first serious rival of the rot-proof Jeep Wrangler, the Ford Bronco with its strong retro flavor was a great success in the United States. The fun vehicle par excellence, it usually comes with a long list of accessories and optional equipment that inflate Ford’s margins. The Volkswagen Group would like to take its share of this ultra-profitable market, but none of its brands enjoys sufficient legitimacy in the eyes of American customers.
None ? Nope ! Since its Traton division finalized the acquisition of American truck specialist Navistar International in July 2021, the Volkswagen Group has owned the rights to the American brand International Harvester, which formerly produced the Scout. What better than this authentically American 4×4 to erase the Germanic flavor of the MEB platform? An electric Scout would offer a nice complement to the Volkswagen ID. Buzz, designed as the all-electric heir to the line of Volkswagen Type 2, Combi, Transporter and Microbus.
GM is resurrecting the Hummer and Ford the Bronco. Volkswagen eyes Scout
The game is far from a foregone conclusion, however. Because more than three decades after the judgment of the Scout, some doubt the persistence of his name in the American collective memory. All things considered, it is as if the Stellantis group were now trying to relaunch the Rancho, a leisure vehicle produced in France from 1977 to 1984 by three brands that have now disappeared, Simca, Matra and Talbot. Only a handful of vintage car enthusiasts still remember it, when the majority of French people have never heard of it.
Does the Scout suffer from the same lack of notoriety in the USA? Hard to say. Not only has its name not been pronounced for a long time, but this 4×4 was never a star in the upmarket neighborhoods. Or even a vehicle terribly popular with young athletes, unlike the Jeep CJ. If he sold a respectable number of Scouts, it was only at the end of a long career of twenty years, punctuated by a few aesthetic revisions. Its closest rival, the Ford Bronco, was able to renew itself four times, in 1978, in 1980, in 1987, then in 1992.
The hypothesis of a return of the Scout suddenly went from the status of a vague possibility to that of a real project when, on May 10, 2022, the American daily The Wall Street Journal reported the information according to which a decision would be taken the next day by the Management of the Volkswagen Group. The idea would be to make Scout a full-fledged division in North America, alongside Volkswagen of America and Audi of America – a bit like Bronco and Mustang, which enjoy special status at Ford . According to the WSJ, the German manufacturer would be ready to consider investing the sum of one billion dollars in this project. Case to follow.