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Volkswagen launches single-cab Amarok

Next year's model: Volkswagen has released a two-door version of its Amarok ute in Germany - and it is coming here next year.

Two-door version of VW Amarok goes on sale in Germany ahead of Oz debut next year

Volkswagen logo18 Nov 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

A SINGLE-CAB variant of the Volkswagen Amarok ute has finally gone on sale in Germany, featuring claimed best-in-class cabin space and a payload of up to 1.25 tonnes.

Volkswagen Australia has confirmed it will add the two-door variant to the local line-up, probably in the second quarter of next year.

The release comes more than a year after Volkswagen first revealed a ‘concept study’ of its more utilitarian workhorse at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Fair in Hanover, Germany, in September 2010.

Although the new variant shares its overall length and wheelbase with its four-door cousin, the loading area has been stretched by a substantial 650mm to 2205mm.

The width of the load space remains unchanged, with 1220mm of space between the wheel housings, giving the pick-up a cargo area of 3.6 square metres.

Volkswagen claims the tray can accommodate two Euro pallets – one behind the other – while still leaving a further 600mm of length. The standard tray also features six fastening rings to secure bulky goods.

The Single-Cab is also said to feature a longer-than-average passenger section, allowing for extra storage space behind the seats.



3 center imagePower comes from the same engine range as the existing dual-cab variants, meaning a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with outputs of either 90kW/340Nm or 120kW/400Nm. Both engines are mated exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Two-door models will also be available in either rear-wheel-drive configuration or with a 4MOTION four-wheel-drive system on higher-specified variants.

Volkswagen claims the entry-level 90kW rear-drive version consumes as little as 7.2 litres of diesel per 100km on the combined cycle while emitting 189 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

The Single-Cab comes standard with electronic diff locks, while a mechanical version is also available on the rear axle for both rear- and four-wheel drives.

Standard safety equipment includes four airbags – dual front and head/thorax – and electronic stability control.

The Amarok dual-cab was awarded only a four-star Euro NCAP rating earlier this year, but is rated locally as a five-star crash performer by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

Optional equipment includes body-coloured bumpers, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels and an integrated satellite-navigation system.

Next year will also see the addition of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol TSI engine to the Amarok range, as well as a class-leading eight-speed ZF automatic transmission for flagship variants.

As we reported in July, Volkswagen Australia has also expressed keen interest in a rugged Amarok-based SUV should it become reality over the next few years.

The Amarok dual-cab was launched in February this year powered exclusively by the 120kW/400Nm TDI400 engine.

Volkswagen added an entry-level two-wheel-drive variant in May dubbed the TDI340, fitted with the smaller 90kW/340Nm diesel engine.

Sales of the rugged utility have picked up over the past few months after a slow start compounded by lack of supply from the Argentine plant where it is built.

The last two full sales months (September and October) have seen combined two-wheel and four-wheel drive Amarok sales of 486 and 397 units respectively.

These figures allowed the 4WD version, which accounts for the vast majority of sales, to grab a 4.0 per cent segment share in October behind the dominant Toyota HiLux (27.9 per cent) and Nissan Navara (16.0 per cent).

The addition of the new bodystyle, automatic transmission and petrol engine will see sales increase even further, giving Volkswagen a bigger presence in the revitalised Australian ute segment.

But competition is tougher as a substantially facelifted Toyota HiLux and the all-new Ford Ranger/ Mazda BT-50 twins have been launched in recent months, while next year will also see new Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max models.

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