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VW Amarok takes torque title

Torque talk: Volkswagen is digging into the one-tonne ute fight with a new diesel engine that produces significantly more torque than anything else in its segment.

V6 diesel boosts updated Volkswagen Amarok pick-up torque to 550Nm

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Volkswagen logo3 May 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

WHILE many auto-makers pursue an engine downsizing strategy in the name of frugality, Volkswagen has bucked the trend with its facelifted Amarok one-tonner, slotting in a diesel engine that gains two cylinders and a litre of displacement compared with the outgoing 2.0-litre four-pot.

In light of the increasing pressure and presence from new competitors in the segment – particularly at the upper end of the scale where VW trades – the German car-maker is marketing its offering as the power player with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel that churns out 165kW and 550Nm at 1500 rpm.

With its new engine that was reported by GoAuto last month, the Amarok is the only one-tonne ute that can brag a six-cylinder diesel, with only Ford's Ranger and the Mazda BT-50 getting close with five under the bonnet, and while Toyota's HiLux is available with a 4.0-litre V6, it burns petrol.

When it arrives, the Amarok's mighty mound of torque will easily place it at the top of the power pile, with a clear lead over the 3.2-litre Ford Ranger's 470Nm, 2.8L Holden Colorado with 440Nm (500Nm when matched with the auto) and even the Toyota 70 Series LandCruiser can not touch the VW with its 430Nm 4.5-litre V8.

In fact, you have to stray into serious super ute territory to find anything that can beat the Amarok torque figure, such as the hulking Ram truck that went on sale in Australia earlier this year, with a whopping 1084Nm from a 6.7-litre Cummins V6.

Despite growing by a litre and boosting torque by 130Nm over the previous 132kW/420Nm four-cylinder top-performer, fuel consumption has fallen from 8.3 litres per 100km to 7.6L/100km.

In Europe, the new V6 will be offered in three states of tune with a 120kW and 150kW version sitting below the 165kW flagship.

While Volkswagen Group Australia is yet to finalise when the updated Amarok will arrive and which variants will be available, the company has confirmed that the V6 would be coming Down Under later in the year.

Customers will have the choice of a rear-wheel drive, switchable four-wheel drive or a permanent four-wheel drive 4Motion transmission fed by either an eight-speed automatic transmission or manual gearbox, depending on the variant.

The engine update coincides with a light facelift for the company's five-year-old ute, which has brought restyled headlights and new-look bumper and grille, while tail-lights have been smoked out. A new wheel design also accompanies the update with top-spec Aventura variants rolling on 20-inch rims.

Maximum power Amaroks have the biggest brakes of the range measuring 17-inch at the front and 16-inch at the rear. Braked towing capacity is rated at 3.5 tonnes and the 2.52 square metre tray can accommodate a European standard pallet and more than one tonne of cargo.

As with the first Amarok, top-of-the-range versions have body-coloured bumpers, more aesthetic treats and kit. The Aventura name is yet to be confirmed for markets outside Europe and Australia is likely to continue with the current naming system which starts with the Core but also includes the Highline, Trendline, Canyon and Ultimate.

Interiors have also been refreshed with a new dashboard layout and more ergonomic seating, according to Volkswagen.

The German car-maker will face more competition in the already hotly-contested one-tonner segment in Australia with the arrival of the Renault ute – based on the Alaskan concept – as well as Mercedes' pick-up that will reportedly be dubbed GLT, both in about 2018.

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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.