New Amarok is a beauty and a beast
It has been a seven-year wait for Volkswagen's new 3.0-litre V6 165kW TDI engine Amarok. Lauded for its car-like driving features and low fuel consumption, the 2.0 litre Amarok did not really set the sales charts alight, with many die-hard bakkie fans apprehensive of a small-capacity engine in a big double-cab body.
The new 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine is the only six-cylinder diesel engine in the segment.The top- of -the range engine delivers 165kW of power available at 550 Nm of torque channelled through its standard eight-speed automatic gearbox.The V6 engine pushes the Amarok to a top speed of 193km/h and sprints from zero to 100km/h in 8.0 seconds.
From the outside the new Amarok distinguishes itself from the previous model with a redesigned front bumper and radiator grille incorporating front fog lights, new alloy wheels and a third brake-light with LED technology. Aligned with the latest Volkswagen DNA seen in the new Caddy, Transporter and forthcoming Crafter, horizontal lines dominate the front of the new model, with much cleaner-looking angled folds and edges.
Inside the cab the changes are more prominent with an all-new dashboard design which incorporates Volkswagen's modular infotainment system with touch-screen radio, App-Connect, Bluetooth and USB interface (iPod/iPhone compatible).
A comprehensive list of safety equipment comes standard with every new Amarok, including four airbags, electronic stabilisation programme and Volkswagen's award-winning Automatic Post Collision Braking System which can reduce the chance or severity of a secondary accident in the event of a collision.
The Trendline equipment trim level has been replaced with the Comfort line equipment trim level resulting in additional standard features. Highline Plus has been added to the model line-up for customers looking for additional top-end convenience and comfort as standard features. Extreme replaces Ultimate as the main derivative in the Amarok model line-up. Extreme will be available with an option of 4MOTION automatic 2.0 BITDI with 132Kw or 3.0 TDI V6 with 165Kw engine.
Under the skin, the Amarok's running gear has not been changed fundamentally from the previous generation.The base derivative is the 2.0 TDI delivering 103Kw with a six-speed manual transmission and an option of permanent 4MOTION four-wheel and two-wheel drive systems. Also carried over from the previous model is the tried-and-tested 2.0 BITDI delivering 132 Kw. This engine is offered with six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions. Customers have the option of the selectable 4MOTION on the derivatives with manual transmission or permanent 4MOTION four-wheel drive system on derivatives with an automatic transmission.
Both the six-speed manual transmission and eightspeed automatic transmission have been optimised for the Amarok's high torque values.The large number of gears allows a greater transmission ratio spread to be achieved compared to a conventional automatic transmission.
The new model retains the previous Amarok's dimensions: it measures 5.25m long, 2.23m wide and 1.83m high.The Amarok's cargo bed is 1.55 metres long and 1.62 metres wide which means its load area continues to measure 2.52 m2. This means a Euro pallet can be loaded transversely.
The cargo box has four lashing rings for securing the load fitted in each corner.The half-metre platform gate height boosts the good cargo capacity. This is due to the low sill height, which is 78 cm high. With a maximum gross weight of up to 3 080 kg, the Amarok can transport bulky as well as very heavy loads.The maximum payload is 936 kg. Depending on the overall configuration it can also tow loads of up to 3.3 tonnes.
The new Amarok is expected to appeal to a similar profile of buyers as in the past, retaining its position as a technically advanced pick-up which is as comfortable to drive as it is rugged. With its new engine and even more car-like features and cab it is also likely to pique the interest of buyers who may previously have shopped in the classic SUV segment.
Since its launch in 2010, over 29 000 Amarok units (single and double cabs) have been sold in South Africa.
The Amarok model range comes standard with a three-year/100 000 km manufacturer warranty, fiveyear/90 000 km Automotion Service Plan and six-year anti-corrosion warranty.The service interval is 15 000 km.