Audi is considering an electric off-road electric SUV that would use the platform from parent Volkswagen Group's planned Scout EV brand, according to an Autocar report.
VW announced the Scout brand in 2022, using a name that originated on the classic International Scout SUV, with plans for a North American-market electric pickup truck and SUV and a targeted launch date of 2026. The more luxurious Audi model derived from the Scout platform would arrive in 2027, according to the report.
Teaser for Scout SUV concept
The Audi SUV would reportedly be a rival to the upcoming electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class, or EQG, along with the Land Rover Defender, in the European market. In North American it would likely also compete with the Rivian R1S and the forthcoming Jeep Recon.
Details remain sparse for Scout, which was a surprise to VW dealers when revealed last year. It will reportedly pair a traditional ladder frame with a dedicated EV layout, with pickup and SUV models to come.
Audi Activesphere concept
Borrowing the Scout platform would imbue the Audi SUV with a level of off-road capability to match its anticipated rivals, something that isn't possible with the brand's current EV architectures, according to the report. Audi also hinted it's considering a more rugged direction with the Activesphere concept shown Thursday. It's based on the brand's PPE platform for luxury and performance models, though.
This all begs the question of whether there are too many boxy off-road EVs in the works. Would the market be better served with EVs that are showing innovation in on-road efficiency, not hillclimbs or water-fording?