Load car­ry­ing

A 550Nm 3.0 litre tur­bod­iesel V6 has given VW’S Amarok a new lease on life. Ross Mackay has the story.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

There’s an old say­ing in pol­i­tics that ‘if power cor­rupts, then ab­so­lute power cor­rupts ab­so­lutely.’ Hav­ing just re­turned the press demon­stra­tor to VW NZ, I think I know what the bloke who came up with the quip, 19th cen­tury Bri­tish his­to­rian Lord Ac­ton, was on about. Never mind that in twin-turbo diesel 2.0 litre four cylin­der form an Amarok was hardly lack­ing power or torque. Or grip for that mat­ter. But as the Amer­i­cans are wont to say ‘there’s no re­place­ment for dis­place­ment.’ So when the op­por­tu­nity to add a ‘full cream’ 3.0 litre V6 model to the ex­ist­ing ’trim milk’ 2.0 litre lineup pre­sented it­self, VW NZ boss Tom Rud­den­klau grabbed it with both hands. There are two V6s in the 2017 Amarok line-up, both eight-speed auto-equipped full-time (4Mo­tion) four-wheel-drives but a High­line spec one with an RP of $73,990 and a top-of-the-line Ad­ven­tura spec one with an RRP of $82,990. Big money for a work­ing ute, but as Rud­den­klau said at the launch; “The new V6 will be the hero ute in the New Zealand mar­ket. It will oc­cupy the boss’s carpark at work.” And fair enough. Be­cause hav­ing spent a week be­hind the wheel of an Ad­ven­tura, all I can say is wow! For a start the Amarok has al­ways been one of the big­gest, roomi­est and best rid­ing (par­tic­u­larly one-up on city and coun­try roads). Add a lux­ury SUV level of com­fort which – in the Ad­ven­tura model in­cludes a sleek new-look dash, Ap­ple Carplay equipped in­fo­tain­ment screen and heated, Nappa leather-trimmed, elec­tri­cally-ad­justable front seats and you have a cabin any CEO would be proud of shar­ing with his bray­ing bud­dies on the way to the next hos­tile takeover strat­egy meet­ing. Be­cause it is wider than other dou­ble cab utes there is also plenty of shoul­der room in the rear, though leg and knee room is still a bit short, par­tic­u­larly if those up front are built like bas­ket­ballers. The same goes with the tray, widest in the sec­tor with room for a pal­let be­tween the arches. In terms of day-to-day use, ride and gen­eral driv­abil­ity re­mains a stand­out in the sec­tor. Han­dling is nose-heavy, al­beit nice and neu­tral rather than un­der­steery when you push it and with discs now front and rear there is both power and a nice pro­gres­sive feel at the brake lever. It’s the en­gine that is the real star here though, with 165kws of punchy peak power and best-in-class torque fig­ure of 550Nm, plus an over boost func­tion of up to 180kw. The way the Audi A7/porsche Cayenned­erived en­gine works hand-in-hand with the eight-speed auto trans­mis­sion re­ally has to be ex­pe­ri­enced to be be­lieved, changes also im­per­cep­ti­ble on a soft throt­tle and like a rifle bolt (up and down) when you are, er, push­ing the en­ve­lope. The in­tro­duc­tion of the new V6 line also her­alds a mi­nor facelift com­plete with new al­loy wheel and the spec now in­cludes Au­to­matic Post-col­li­sion Brak­ing Sys­tem. The ar­rival of the V6 model as part of a new, facelifted line has given Volk­swa­gen New Zealand the op­por­tu­nity to re­align the en­tire Amarok range. For in­stance, all Amarok mod­els will now come with 4Mo­tion 4WD as stan­dard, se­lec­tive in the six-speed man­ual model, per­ma­nent with the eight-speed au­to­matic ones. In ad­di­tion, the 2.0 litre, four-cylin­der mod­els re­ceives be­tween $4,000 – $15,000 in spec­i­fi­ca­tion en­hance­ments and/or price re­duc­tions with the range kick­ing off with a 4Mo­tion twin-turbo 2.0 litre, four-cylin­der “Core” model from $49,990.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.