4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

FOL­LOW­ING on from our break­ing story in the Au­gust is­sue of 4X4 Aus­tralia, Volk­swa­gen has con­firmed that an Amarok-based three-row wagon is in its plan­ning for de­vel­op­ment.

At a meet­ing with jour­nal­ists in Mel­bourne in mid-au­gust, VW ex­ec­u­tives ad­mit­ted that plans for a wagon to be built on the ute’s lad­der chas­sis un­der­pin­nings had been ini­ti­ated back when the ute launched in 2011. How­ever, the plans had been shelved, but they are now back on the ta­ble.

This turn­around comes with the in­tro­duc­tion of the V6 TDI en­gine to the Amarok ute later this year.

At the meet­ing, Volk­swa­gen Group Aus­tralia (VGA) com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles di­rec­tor Car­los San­tos said: “There is some very se­ri­ous de­vel­op­ment hap­pen­ing at the mo­ment for an SUV based on Amarok, which will be quite a large pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle. The dis­cus­sion has been reignited be­cause this V6 en­gine is able to be sold in the US, whereas the 2.0litre would never get into the States.”

The V6 TDI en­gine is al­ready sold in the US in both the Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg.

This move will make the Amarok the only V6-pow­ered of­fer­ing in the one-tonne 4x4 ute seg­ment in Aus­tralia. With 550Nm on tap it will also be the class leader for grunt, even if it still has a 3000kg tow rat­ing, 500kg down on most of its com­pe­ti­tion.

Should an Amarok-based wagon even­tu­ate it will land on the back of an SUV tsunami from VW, with new mod­els re­plac­ing its Tiguan and Touareg wag­ons; plus there’ll be a new model in be­tween the two and an­other one smaller than the Tiguan.

As the Amarok ute is cur­rently one of the old­est utes avail­able in its class, a new model is ex­pected in the next two to three years. So any wagon would most likely be based on the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion ve­hi­cle.

An Amarok wagon would com­pete with the likes of the Ford Ever­est, Toy­ota For­tuner, Holden Trail­blazer, Isuzu MU-X, and Mit­subishi Pajero Sport; all wag­ons built on one-tonne ute plat­forms.

Nis­san seems to be the only man­u­fac­turer miss­ing, with no con­firmed plans for a Navara-based three-row wagon. It’s some­thing the com­pany will be miss­ing now that the GU Pa­trol is on its way out of pro­duc­tion.

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