When it comes to sales, the Amarok must clearly line up behind VW's vans. However, the pick-up with lifestyle ambitions is important for the brand image. The North Germans take the new edition accordingly seriously.
What is he?
Between workhorse and lifestyle statement: The second generation of the VW Amarok wants to bridge the gap between two conflicting requirements. A strong increase in weight helps on the one hand, and a revamped one on the other inner space with refined infotainment. The flatbed truck, which was developed and built together with Ford, will be launched on the German market in May 2023 at prices starting at just under 40.000 euros.
what can he be
That's the Amarok at its core Ford Ranger is only noticeable from the outside with a second glance. Or at the latest when you grab the massive door handles, which, like the portals themselves, were taken over from the sister model of the US group. As far as possible, VW has its own for the other visible sheet metal parts look given. This is most clearly achieved at the front with the wide, chrome-plated radiator grille, which, especially in the higher-quality "Panamericana" and "Aventura" variants, together with the metal bumper and underbody protection, powerfully shapes the face area. Do at the stern standalone lights and the self-confident name lettering pressed into the metal make it clear that you stand behind an Amarok.
how to find him
The redesign of the interior is just as effective. The structure provided by Ford is personalized by VW with an independent Multifunctional steering wheel (with real buttons instead of touch surfaces), a slightly modified layout - for example in the center console - and above all through the use of finer materials. They are not found everywhere, but at least in strategically important places such as the dashboard and door panels. Especially when it comes to the ambience Amarok thereby from Cleaning sell - which according to first impressions, even if without a direct comparison, does not seem impossible. In principle, in addition to the standard digital instruments, the large, upright infotainment monitor also goes well with this idea, as it shows fine, high-resolution graphics that illustrate a largely convincing operating concept. This shows in practice touch screen concept However, as a disadvantage - especially on uneven roads, the sometimes very small contact surfaces can hardly be hit with the finger exactly. One would wish for classic controllers, at least for the air conditioning system.
What you like
On the other hand, there is nothing to complain about driving behavior. The fact that VW continues to rely on leaf springs instead of coil springs on the rear axle is hardly noticeable most of the time. The robust and inexpensive technology has few problems with the axle guide, only on uneven or loose ground the rear sometimes bucks slightly when springing. Overall, depending on the equipment, the wide tires, which are up to 21 inches in size, determine with their rather harsh ride comfort the driving behavior in everyday life is significantly stronger than the rear axle suspension installed in all engine variants without exception. The works pleasantly precise and sensitive steering, which does not require too much cranking even off-road.
what he offers
Like all other technology under sheet metal and cockpit paneling, the diesel engines also come from Ford. For now test drives the 3,0-liter top-of-the-range unit that usually does its job in the full-size Ford F-150 pick-up was available. The 177 kW/240 hp six-cylinder has an easy time with the one size smaller Amarok. He is coupled to a ten-speed automatic, the Compression ignition primarily in the lower speed range, which is beneficial to fuel consumption and refinement. There are no paddle shifters on the steering wheel, so if you want to change gear yourself, you have to use small switches on the side of the massive automatic selector lever. Alternatively, two 2,0-liter four-cylinder diesel engines with 125 kW/170 hp and 151 kW/205 hp are available in Germany. The six-cylinder petrol engine available in the Ford Ranger is initially not available for the VW. And plug-in hybrids or purely electric variants are not planned for the time being.
all-wheel drive technology is always standard in the new generation. The four-cylinder models use the high-performance switch-on variant, while the six-cylinder models use the more comfortable and active permanent all-wheel drive. Range gearing and differential lock are always on board, there is no longer a model with rear-wheel drive. In addition, larger slope angles at the front and rear prevent bottoming out on difficult terrain. The pick-up has also upgraded its technical talents. So now all versions up to 3,5 tons on the hook, the maximum payload increases to 1,19 tons and the roof load increases to up to 350 kilograms, which allows the assembly and use of a family roof tent when the vehicle is stationary.
VW's pick-up is only available in this country double cabin and in five equipment lines, with the "Amarok" variant coming along as a deliberately unadorned commercial vehicle and the next higher model "Life" positioning itself as the price-performance leader. "Style" adds a little more visual chic, while the top variants "Pan Americana' and 'Aventura' go all out when it comes to design and comfort features. Both strip off all commercial vehicle flair and present themselves more as an alternative to the lifestyle off-road vehicle. Compared to the predecessor, the list is significantly longer assistance systems which now includes, among other things, the “Travel Assist” for semi-automated driving. VW does not name prices for basic models and options about half a year before the market launch.
what we mean
More utility, modern infotainment and upgraded assistants: the new generation of the Amarok takes a noticeable step forward. The top variants refined to SUV level are also impressive. Minor flaws in the usability of the touchscreen hardly matter. Rather, that at least initially no electrified drives are available. Hard-hitting pick-up fans shouldn't mind that much, though.
Specifications – VW Amarok:
Pick-up of the one-ton class with double cab, length: 5,35 meters, width: 1,91 meters (2,21 meters with exterior mirrors), height: 1,75 - 1,88 meters, wheelbase: 3,27 meters, Payload: 1,19 tons, trailer load: 3,5 tons, roof load standing: 350 kg
2,0 liter four-cylinder diesel, 125 kW/170 hp, maximum torque: 405 Nm at 1.750 to 2.500 rpm, manual six-speed gearbox, switchable four-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h: not specified, top speed: not specified, average consumption: not specified, CO2 emissions: not specified, price: from around 37.000 euros.
2,0 liter four-cylinder diesel, 151 kW/205 hp, maximum torque: 500 Nm at 1.750 to 2.000 rpm, manual six-speed gearbox/ten-speed automatic, switchable four-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h: not specified, top speed: not specified, Average consumption: not specified, CO2 emissions: not specified, price: not specified
3,0-liter six-cylinder diesel, 177 kW/240 hp, maximum torque: 600 Nm at 1.750 to 2.250 rpm, ten-speed automatic, permanent four-wheel drive, 0-100 km/h: not specified, top speed: not specified, average consumption: not specified , CO2 emissions: not specified, price: not specified
Brief characteristics – VW Amarok:
Why: because it is the antithesis of the soft-washed SUV
Why not: because it is less active and less comfortable to drive on-road than an SUV
What else: Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger
When is it coming: May 2023