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Volkswagen confirms sub-$50K Amarok V6 Core

Hard Core: A new entry-level Core version of the Amarok V6 will hit showrooms in the final quarter of the year.

Price-cut Core complements powered-up Ultimate for MY19 Volkswagen Amarok

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Volkswagen logo20 Jun 2018

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) has confirmed it will slash at least $6000 from entry to the Amarok V6 later this year, bringing the 165kW dual-cab to under $50,000 and making way for a new 200kW powered-up pick-up flagship.
 
Arriving in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Amarok V6 Core will include harder interior trim, a vinyl floor and, shortly after launch, six-speed manual availability, to bring it in under the current, auto-only $55,990 Amarok V6 Sportline entry point.
 
It will trade 18-inch alloy wheels for 17s, but retain four-wheel disc brakes, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and a rearview camera.
 
It will also share carry-over 165kW (or 180kW on overboost) and 550Nm outputs with all bar the top model, as well as their 7.9-second 0-100km/h performance claim.
 
At that top end, the Amarok V6 Ultimate will arrive ahead of the V6 Core in September with 190kW (or 200kW on overboost) and 580Nm that is maintained also for 250rpm longer (now from 1400rpm to 3250rpm). 
 
It slashes the 0-100km/h claim by six-tenths to 7.3s, and although its pricing – currently $68,490 – will rise, VGA has said it will still be “significantly” more affordable than the $74,990 Ford Ranger Raptor. 
 
According to VGA commercial vehicles marketing manager Nick Reid, the company is also looking at potentially rolling the 200kW V6 into other Amarok V6 model grades in time.
 
“At the moment it’s only for the Ultimate, but we’re looking at how we can roll it down if possible,” he told GoAuto at a media event in Sydney this week.
 
“Ultimate for us has been hugely successful, since the launch of the Amarok V6 it has maintained about 20 per cent of our sales mix, which for a car with a premium pricetag and definitely a premium product to maintain that through its life, it has been really strong for us. 
 
“So we will move to a revised powerplant (that) obviously has a few modifications such as revised pistons. (It) has the overboost on third gear that works for 10 seconds on 70 per cent-plus throttle, and what’s really impressive about this is the fuel economy remains below 9.0 litres per 100 kilometres.”
 
The Amarok V6 Ultimate has also been upgraded with a new Peacock Green colour, revised silver front bumper trim, and black rooflining to match the Nappa leather trim with 14-way electrically adjustable front seats.
 
Back at the entry level, and Mr Reid said the Amarok V6 Core would “absolutely” retail for under $50,000 but could become even cheaper from early next year.
 
“The V6 Sportline has been hugely successful for us, especially in our current end of financial year campaign, so you know I think the value proposition would see it (V6 Core) as close to $50,000 as possible, but we’re still working on that,” he said.
 
“We’re also working on a manual version of the V6, but probably not until early next year for delivery. There’s a couple of reasons for the decision, the first is an entry-level price point that would be very compelling with a V6 engine, the second reason would be for the hardcore enthusiast who needs the things that the manual brings with it, such as a diff lock.”
 
Mr Reid said the Amarok enthusiast clubs around Australia have a “very high” percentage of manual gearbox take-up among the four-cylinder versions, and the arrival of the V6 Core was in response to their needs.
 
“Talking with our owner’s clubs in Victoria, in New South Wales, in Queensland, what they have really been asking for is a more entry-level V6 product, so we’ve been working really closely with the factory to deliver this,” he continued.
 
“They want vinyl floors, because especially in Queensland and going to Fraser Island, they want to be able to sweep the car out. It’s also extremely popular with the tradies.
 
“(So now) we have an Amarok for all tastes because we know the Amarok buyers are very broad, we have the young tradies, adventure seekers, right through to architects, business owners and CEOs driving them. And now we have a full V6 line-up to capture the full gamut of an important market.”
 
Where currently the Amarok has snared a 70 per cent share of the car-maker’s commercial vehicle sales in Australia, Mr Reid added that the arrival of the Core and revised Ultimate is “going to push the mix up over the 80 per cent mark”.
 
According to VFACTS May 2018 data, VW has sold 3284 Amaroks, up just 1.5 per cent on the same period last year and trailing eight rivals in the 4x4 pick-up/cab chassis segment. 
 
Meanwhile VGA is expecting that its new-generation Crafter, which will officially launch next month with automatic transmission availability, will deliver “hugely significant growth for us” from a base of just 197 vehicles to the end of May 2018.
 
A conversions business will also be established, where Volkswagen dealers directly assist and quote business customers in converting the rear of a Crafter to motorhomes, refrigeration, tipper-truck, ambulance or crane-attachment specification in-house, and which was described as “very unique” in the market.
 
The Crafter has been outsold by nearly five-to-one by the Caddy’s 955 sales so far this year – up 12 per cent with a 68 per cent small van market share – and by almost four-to-one by the Transporter’s 769 sales, up 2.5 per cent year-to-date.

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