Volkswagen Is Bringing International Harvester’s Scout Back to Life

Scout Featured Image. Photo- Volkswagen
Scout Featured Image. Photo- Volkswagen

Volkswagen hopes to ignite a new off-road brand powered by nostalgia.

When I met the man who would eventually become my husband, one of the things we bonded over was that our families both had an International Harvester Scout (Scout II’s, to be specific). To this day, we still tell stories about the camping trips and adventures we had in our respective Scouts. Our moms were both trailblazers in the SUV-as-mom-mobile department; my mother-in-law’s comment about the Scout’s massive weight, farm-equipment drive quality and loosey-goosey steering was absolutely one of the best I’ve ever heard. She would say, “You don’t drive a Scout, you just kind of herd it down the road.”

But it sure was fun. Camping trips, ski trips, even day-to-day travel had the feel of an adventure and the Scout stood out from the long sedans and station wagons my friends were carted around in. I particularly loved the rear window that slid open and closed vertically, with a little clip to lock it in place when it was closed. I could go on!

And Electricity.

But the real news here is that the Scout will be making a comeback thanks to Volkswagen (technically their truck division took control of Navistar International, the company formerly known as International Harvester). Capitalizing on the rising popularity of heritage off-roaders, VW has realized that they have the keys to an iconic brand. There are few details to be had, but what do we know now?

Scout Sketches. Photo- Volkswagen

Scout sketches. Photo- Volkswagen

The new Scouts will be electric. Yes, I said “Scouts.” There will be a pickup and an SUV, and production is scheduled to begin in 2026. Car and Driver reports that Volkswagens new/old off-road brand will reveal prototypes in 2023, and will be designed specifically for the U.S. market.

Other information is speculative, putting the price of the Scout somewhere in the mid-$50,000 range. But given that off-roaders are at a premium price it’s hard to imaging that estimation not shifting at least a little. I can’t wait to see the new Scout and hope it comes to fruition. It would be fun to drive a Scout somewhere besides Memory Lane.


Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey