2023 Volkswagen Amarok debuts with Dearborn DNA


Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the second-gen Amarok pickup truck, which is all set to go on sale by the end of this year depending on the market. In case you didn’t get the memo, the new Amarok is Volkswagen’s version of the second-gen Ford Ranger (T6), and therefore it’ll also be built by Ford in South Africa. This is kinda like the Mercedes-Nissan partnership where the latter built the X-Class and failed miserably, but it appears that the VW-Ford collaboration has done a much better job, so there are very high chances of a successful collaboration here.

I think the designers have done a pretty good job in ensuring that the Amarok looks unique compared with the Ranger, not only on the front fascia but also on the side and on the rear fascia. Some of the styling cues appear to have come from the Tanoak concept of 2018, but maybe that’s just me

But anyway, the Amarok Style, PanAmericana and Aventura trims get IQ.Light LED Matrix headlights as standard. The C-shaped taillights are LEDs in PanAmericana and Aventura trims. The wheel sizes range from 16- to 21-inches depending on the variant. For those wondering, there’s gonna be a base, Life, Style, PanAmericana and Aventura trims. The base model rides on 16-inch steel wheels.

While the wheelbase is the same 3,270 mm, the Amarok is slightly shorter and narrower than its American cousin. Compared with the previous-gen Amarok, the new model boasts increased water wading capability (from 500 to 800 mm) and improved approach, departure and breakover angles of 29-degrees, 21-degrees and 21-degrees, respectively.

On the inside too, the designers have done a fantastic job in ensuring that the Amarok doesn’t look just like a rebadged Ranger; there are some significant differences here. Key features depending on the trim include a 12-inch touchscreen, a 12-inch driver display, soft-touch dashboard upper part, wireless smartphone charging pad, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats, 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and ADAS such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Intelligent Speed Assist, Dynamic Road Sign Display, Lane Assist, Park Assist and Area View (360-degree camera).

Moving on to the juicy bits of the story, the Amarok borrows its powertrains from the Ranger, of course. For starters, there’ll be a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo diesel with 110 kW (150 metric hp) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft), paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox that drives the rear wheels. The same engine is available in a more powerful tune of 125 kW (170 metric hp) and 405 Nm (299 lb-ft); here the transmission can be a 6-speed MT or a 6-speed AT, with AWD options.

For those who want more, that 4-cylinder diesel comes with two turbos, offering up to 154 kW (209 metric hp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) depending on the market. Transmission is gonna be either a 6- or 10-speed AT, coupled with 4Motion AWD system.

There’ll also be a 3.0L V6 turbo diesel with up to 184 kW (250 metric hp) and 600 Nm (442.5 lb-ft) of torque depending on the market. Transmission here is gonna be a 10-speed AT, coupled with 4Motion AWD system.

What about petrol? Well, there’s a 2.3-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol option (market dependent) with 222 kW (302 metric hp) and 452 Nm (333 lb-ft) of torque. This engine is coupled with a 10-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system.

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