We don’t know how Canoo plans to succeed, but we’d like to see the company succeed. We’ve dug the look of its electric pickup since debut in 2021, with the hauler’s Forward Control-style vibe, creative cargo solutions, and reasonable price (which has gone up, of course). We hope the company has a more substantial plan for survival than whatever it’s doing around the debut of its American Bulldog, which appears to be a civilian, unarmored, double-cab version of the Screaming Eagle Light Tactical Vehicle Canoo delivered to the U.S. Army for evaluation December of last year. The press release makes the lineage clear; otherwise, the PR is full of Team America gobbledygook like, “On two wheels or four, this vehicle performs like a battleship. The vehicle’s strength comes from its honeycomb design. It’s strong and rigid but almost soars like an eagle through harmonized steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems.”
The rig’s been making the rounds at trade shows for a few months, apparently. The site Canooers posted about the LTV variant when it was simply called a pickup truck while on the floor of the National Guard Association of the U.S. General Conference and Exhibition in August.
The pictures tell more of the story. New light bars across the front look cool, and if the crossbars can be configured to hold additional lighting or racks, that would be awesome. It looks like the steelies on the American Bulldog are smaller than the wheels on the LTV, wrapped in taller tires. Elevated, extended fender flares provide a lot more room between wheel and cab, likely the result of a suspension lift and a welcome change. There’s also a different attachment system for the bedsides, and the extra cab space in the civvy truck eliminates the external storage spaces on the LTV.
Lacking specs, we know Canoo’s previously listed its truck with a combined 600 horsepower from a dual-motor AWD drivetrain, and a 200-mile estimated range from the 80-kilowatt-hour battery.
There hasn’t been an unimportant year for Canoo yet, but we suspect the coming months will be especially important. On one hand, the company just announced its Q3 earnings, having done $112 million in the red for the three months that ended September 30 and $273.6 million in the red for the first three quarters of the year. On the other hand, the Q3 loss is greatly narrowed from Q2, and these are much smaller losses than Canoo suffered for the same time periods in 2022. It signed an investment deal in early October that could be worth up to $150 million. Walmart ordered 4,500 of Canoo’s commercial vans last year, and Canoo just delivered its first LDV cargo vans as part of a contract with the state of Oklahoma, where it has a manufacturing facility and battery plant. And in July, Canoo filed homologation papers with the NHTSA for a range of vans and pickups in RWD and AWD configurations, from single-seat low-output and seven-seater vans to a four-door pickup. All the pickups have steel roofs, though.