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VW hints at performance-oriented Amarok V6

Torque about it: The 2013 Amarok Concept Worthersee previewed a high-performance Volkswagen ute.

Factory-tuned Volkswagen Amarok V6 ‘R’ could punch out more than 200kW

Volkswagen logo24 Nov 2016

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

VOLKSWAGEN could be secretly working on a high-performance version of its Amarok one-tonne ute, judging from heavy hints dropped at this week’s Australian media launch of the new V6 variants.

Asked directly if a more powerful Amarok was on the cards, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles international sales director Jan Michel told GoAuto “there is a lot more to come” from the V6.

“If you look on different cars where we are using the same engine, you know the capability of this engine,” he said.

Australia gets the most powerful Amarok V6 versions currently available globally, developing 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque from a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel six, but other Volkswagen Group brands including Audi and Porsche turn up the wick to as much as 230kW and 650Nm.

“We will come up with some very positive surprise from the Amarok in the near future, so just wait and be excited about this,” Dr Michel told journalists at the launch.

For the 2013 Worthersee enthusiast event in Austria, Volkswagen created a 200kW/600Nm Amarok concept a single-cab with low-slung suspension and aggressive bodykit.

At the time, VW executives hinted that a performance-oriented Amarok would be ideal for the Australian market.

Dr Michel was cooler on the idea of a V8 Amarok, such as the Passion Desert concept developed by German tuning house MTM for and unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March, with a 4.2-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel churning out 305kW and 930Nm.

“It’s funny, we are introducing the V6 and now everyone is talking about a V8,” said Dr Michel.

“I don’t know how complicated it is or how possible because I am not an engineer … My understanding from other models is that it is always a heavy investment to adapt other engines into a model. It’s not an easy decision.”

Dr Michel said he was “fighting” for Volkswagen to produce a second-generation Amarok, but was not aware if a decision had yet been made.

“We are always discussing about the successor but I think it is too early,” he said.

“I am fighting for that (next-gen Amarok), the Amarok is very important for the Southern Hemisphere market. We need such a product as a group and as a brand.”

He would not be drawn on the rumoured Amarok-based SUV that GoAuto reported in August was back in development to provide Volkswagen with a competitor to the Ford Everest, Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

“No comment on the SUV,” said Dr Michel. “Honestly, we didn’t decide but it’s open.”

Dr Michel said annual worldwide Amarok sales were around the 70,000 mark.

Australia will take up to 10,000 of this volume next year. For comparison the best-selling VW commercial vehicle, the T6 Transporter van, shifts 200,000 units a year globally.

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.