VW de­liv­ers Aus­tralia’s most pow­er­ful turbo diesel dual-cab 4WD ute

The Daily Examiner - - MOTORING - Grant Ed­wards

THE only thing more im­por­tant to boys than their toys are the num­bers on the bootlid or tail­gate. Fast Fords and Hold­ens have for decades worn badges that re­veal how much grunt is un­der the bon­net, now such num­bers have made their way on to work­horse utes.

Meet the Volk­swa­gen Amarok Ul­ti­mate TDV6 580.

Prov­ing VW knows its tar­get mar­ket, Aus­tralian-de­liv­ered ex­am­ples get a shiny “580” badge in a font ap­par­ently in­spired by clas­sic Holden GTS or Ford GT lo­gos.

With 200kW of power on over­boost and 580Nm of torque this 3.0-litre V6 is the most pow­er­ful turbo diesel dou­ble-cab four-wheel drive on sale in Aus­tralia to­day.

With a ver­i­fied 0-100km/h time of 7.8 sec­onds it’s equal-fastest in the class along­side the Ram 1500 petrol V8 — and com­fort­ably a cou­ple of sec­onds quicker to the speed limit than all other diesel dou­ble-cabs.

The orig­i­nal 165kW/550Nm TDV6 in­tro­duced in 2016 — which will con­tinue to power cheaper mod­els in the Amarok range, in­clud­ing a new ba­sic Core model from $50,000 — stops the clock in an iden­ti­cal 7.8 sec­onds. How­ever, in the 550 you need to tap the pad­dle shifters so the eight-speed auto doesn’t hold on to gears too long.

The 580’s re­cal­i­brated auto op­ti­mises shifts for brisk ac­cel­er­a­tion, without faffing about with man­ual shifts.

Other points of in­ter­est: the 580 must run the Ad­blue ex­haust cleans­ing ad­di­tive.

VW says the 13.5L reser­voir will need a top-up at 5000km-8000km in heavy use and 12,000km- 15,000km with light use. It costs about $1 a litre at a ser­vice sta­tion — or more at a dealer ser­vice. Stricter emis­sions re­quire­ments mean new diesels will re­quire Ad­blue in the fu­ture.

As with the su­per­seded 550 Ul­ti­mate, the 580 Ul­ti­mate has heated front seats trimmed in soft Nappa leather with 14-way elec­tric ad­just­ment.

New, black roof lin­ing gives the cabin a lift. Ex­ter­nal bling ex­tends to 20-inch wheels, up from 19s pre­vi­ously.

The low pro­file 20-inch rub­ber is still plush com­pared to most ri­vals. Pre­cise steer­ing, cor­ner­ing grip and the su­per-re­spon­sive en­gine and trans­mis­sion are high­lights.

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