Friday, 26 May 2023 10:55

Second generation Amarok ups the stakes

Written by  Mark Daniel
The new Amarok is not only a comfortable drive on road but also when taken off-road. The new Amarok is not only a comfortable drive on road but also when taken off-road.

The first-generation VW Amarok – launched back in 2010 – has built a reputation based on comfort, handling and ability that has led to more 7700 of the vehicles being driven on New Zealand’s roads.

The recent arrival of the second generation – obviously the German manufacturer doesn’t rush things – is the result of a joint venture with Ford. This included many hours of R&D in Victoria, Australia, before the vehicle was signed off for production in South Africa.

Kevin Richards, GM - VW commercial vehicles NZ, says during development the company decided that some items were non-negotiable.

“Such as a 3.5-tonne towing ability across the range, the ability to fit a Euro pallet between the wheel arches in the load area, rear disc brakes, the handling of an SUV and the ‘feel’ of a Volkswagen.”

The result is an undeniably handsome vehicle that compared to MARK DANIEL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the old model, is 10cm longer, has a 17cm wider wheelbase and 300mm better wading depth at 800mm. The only visible items carried over from the Ford ute are the door mirrors, door handles and – strangely – the key fob.

Available in Life, Style, Pan Americana and Aventura versions, the entry level machine features a 4-cylinder 2.0l turbo diesel. This pushes out 125kW/405Nm, mated to a six-speed auto transmission. Moving up a notch sees the arrival of a twinturbo, 4-cylinder, delivering 154kW/500Nm, now mated to a 10-speed transmission. The two high-spec variants receive a 3.0 litre turbo, 6-cylinder lump, again mated to the 10-speed transmission, but putting out 184kW/600Nm.

Throughout the range, VW’s 4-Motion, parttime 4WD system is used, with the operator offered the choice of 2WD High, 4WD-Low and 4WD High in the life and Style versions. Meanwhile, the two higher-spec machines have the addition of 4WD-Auto that – depending on conditions – can automatically shift the front/rear drive ratios from 0:100 to 50:50.

Across the range, a mechanical rear mechanical diff lock can be used to increase traction in poor conditions.

Driving modes include Normal, Eco, Slippery and Load/Trailer options. The latter induces higher engine revs between transmission shifts to stop “hunting” between ratios, alongside engaging engine braking effect on downhill sections.

Look out for a more in-depth review in an upcoming issue of Rural News.

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