By Otsile Kadiege
Volkswagen’s all-new, hotly-anticipated Amarok bakkie has finally been unveiled. The first-ever VW Amarok was launched back in 2010. Since then the Wolfsburg-based automaker’s pickup truck has found over 830 000 new homes globally and 41 422 in South Africa. The new Amarok is based on the new Ford Ranger’s advanced T6 platform and also share numerous other technologies. That said, the newcomer enters its second-generation boasting bold new looks, a range of powerful powertrains, a number of new model grades, a plethora of new technologies, convenience features, safety and many driver assistance systems to name a few.
Bold exterior design
The new Amarok has a tall commanding stance and bold new looks accentuated by its pronounced wheel arches and aggressive-looking front end. Upfront, the new Amarok has a muscular look thanks to standard LED headlights (PanAmericana, Aventura and Style the headlights used will be ‘IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights) and a newly designed grille with contrasting silver or black accents which extend to the lower section of the bumper.
The muscular appearance is bolstered by pronounced wheel arches with contrast cladding and wheel sizes up to 21-inches. At the rear there are C-shaped LED taillights on the PanAmericana and Aventura grades and prominent ‘AMAROK’ lettering embossed on the tailgate.
In terms of exterior dimensions, the new Amarok is 5,350 mm long (96 mm longer than its predecessor) and it has a wheelbase of 3,270 mm (an increase of 173 mm). The new model is also 1,910 mm wide, including wing mirrors it’s 2,204 mm. Unlike its predecessor which has a water wading depth of a mere 500 mm, the new Amarok has a much greater fording depth of 800 mm. Thanks to the now shorter bodywork overhangs, the off-road qualities have also been improved by optimised approach angles: for the front angle of approach the figure is 29 degrees and for the back 21 degrees. The ramp angle between the axles is also exactly 21 degrees.
Its cargo bed measures 1,544 mm long and 1,224 mm wide opens up behind the cab (DoubleCab version). The maximum width between the wheel arches is 1,206 mm. The cargo box of the single-cab Amarok is 2,305 mm long and 1,224 mm wide. The space height is 529 mm in all versions.
New Amarok grades
The new Amarok will come onto the market in five specification variants. The entry-level version is the ‘Amarok’. It is followed by the ‘Life’ and ‘Style’. Launching as equal top versions will be the PanAmericana (accentuated off- road character) and Aventura (high-end specification with on-road character).
Posh interior and new technologies
Inside, the new Amarok has an upmarket modern look thanks to soft touch materials in higher-specification models. On the tech front, the new Amarok include digital 8.0-inch instruments (‘Digital Cockpit’, fully digital and 12.0-inch in size on the Style and above) and a modern infotainment system with a display in tablet style (10.0-inch screen as standard, 12-inch on the Style and above). The infotainment system is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible. It also features mobile Volkswagen online services and two USB ports.
As standard, the Amarok PanAmericana and Aventura is a high- end sound system from Harman Kardon. Volkswagen is using a mix of digital functions and ergonomically configured buttons and/or push/rotary switches in the Amarok which are said are said to be intuitive to use. The infotainment system’s volume and all-wheel drive’s settings are, for instance, controlled via such hard keys. On the higher specification models these features are all framed in aluminium. The seat system has also been completely redesigned. It provides passengers with the customary Volkswagen comfort; in the top versions the seats feature electric, 10-way adjustment. The back of the double-cab Amarok also offers plenty of space and comfort for three adult passengers to enjoy the journey.
Driver assistance systems
The new Amarok comes with a whooping 30 driver assistance systems, 20 of them are all-new like the ACC+ Adaptive Cruise Control (incorporates road signs into the automatic control of speed via camera scans) and IQ.LIGHT – LED matrix headlights. The Amarok has up to six different driving profiles (Drive Modes) to assist the driver in a variety of situations – for instance, when driving on slippery surfaces or on demanding off-road terrain.
The Amarok will launch, varying by market, with four efficient turbodiesel engines (TDI) and one turbocharged petrol engine (TSI). In numerous countries – for example, the European markets – all versions will be shipped as standard combined with all-wheel drive (4Motion). The spectrum of diesel engines begins with three four-cylinder engines, in each case with 2.0 litres of cubic capacity. The base version specially developed for various African markets builds up 110kW and 350Nm. This engine version is equipped with a manual 5-speed gearbox and rear-wheel drive.
Following one level up comes a 125kW (170 PS) TDI with maximum torque of 405Nm, selectable all-wheel drive and manual 6-speed gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission depending on market. The most powerful four-cylinder TDI has a bi-turbocharger and – in markets such as Europe – puts top power output of 150kW (154kW in other countries) and 500Nm. In many countries this engine will launch in this power output class with permanent all-wheel drive (4Motion) and 6- or 10-speed automatic transmission.
The engine used as the top TDI is a 3.0-litre V6. In some markets different emissions stipulations result in a power output of 184 kW and 600Nm. The engine is paired to a 10- speed automatic gearbox and is coupled to permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive system. In some markets the new Amarok will be powered by a turbocharged 2.3-litre four- cylinder engine making 222kW and 452Nm is the maximum torque. The turbocharged petrol engine will be shipped with 10-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive system.
The new Volkswagen Amarok will retail in South Africa from the first quarter of 2023.
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