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VW/Walkinshaw partnership spawns Amarok W580

Volkswagen and Walkinshaw team up to create ‘GT-spec’ Amarok W580

19 Oct 2020

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) has teamed up with an unlikely partner to create a new performance flagship Amarok V6 exclusive only to Australia, dubbed the W580.

 

Developed and designed in conjunction with Walkinshaw Performance, the W580 will sit atop the Amarok V6 range when it arrives here in April 2021, however the big VW sets itself apart from its flagship ute rivals in being more focused on on-road dynamics rather than sheer off-road ability.

 

As a result, VGA and Walkinshaw have labelled the Amarok W580 a ‘GT-ute’ with VW Commercial Vehicles Australia director Ryan Davies going on to explain that this was the plan all along.

 

“We have always known what a powerhouse we have in the Amarok, but have always felt the range needed a proper GT-spec model,” he said.

 

“As the originators of the performance ute category, we looked no further than Walkinshaw to achieve this.”

 

Under the bonnet of the W580 resides the same twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine as the regular Amarok 580s which has been completely untouched by both parties, meaning power and torque remain pegged at the familiar 200kW/580Nm.

 

Drive is sent to all four wheels as before through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

 

Rather than focus on the engine, Walkinshaw set about improving the Amarok’s on-road dynamics and presence with the biggest changes being made under the skin, specifically its suspension which has been completely retuned while the ride height at the front has been raised by 40mm at the front axle for a more balanced silhouette.

 

Larger diameter (275/50) Pirelli Scorpion tyres also contribute to the increase ground clearance, encompassing unique black 20-inch ‘Clayton’ alloy wheels.

 

Other modifications include a custom exhaust system with side-exit pipes, redesigned front grille and bumper design, body-coloured sportsbars, unique body and bonnet decals, wheelarch extensions and a W580 branded interior complete with individual build plate.

 

Walkinshaw chief designer Julian Quincey said he relished the chance to increase and enhance the performance credentials of the most powerful ute in its class.

 

“The Volkswagen product seems to lend itself to a very high performance, GT-image,” he said.

 

“You've got that terrific V6 diesel engine with class-leading torque; and it really does deserve a performance flagship in the range.”

 

Despite the ‘GT-spec’ kit out and road-based focus, Walkinshaw is adamant that none of the modifications have cost the Amarok W580 any off-road ability.

 

Such is the brand’s confidence in the W580, Walkinshaw sales, marketing and after-sales executive director Chris Polites told GoAuto the new flagship was still “more than capable, in fact class leading off-road.”

 

“But where it really shines is on road- where most of the owner experience lives,” he said.

 

According to Mr Polites, it was the exit of Holden from that local marketplace that created the opportunity for Walkinshaw to explore more options in the industry with the decision to work with VGA being an easy one.

 

“They’re (VW) one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, and with Amarok have the vehicle that sets the benchmark for many attributes in the segment,” he said.

 

“We’ve got 33 years of vehicle enhancement experience via HSV, and a fully in-house design, engineering and production facilities in the country to bring projects like this to life.”

 

Pricing and the exact specification details for the new flagship pick-up will be revealed on December 1 when it officially hits the local market with customer deliveries expected to begin from April 2021.

 

As an added incentive, the first 30 W580 customers will be treated to an all-expenses paid, ‘exclusive Walkinshaw experience’ including flights, transfers, meals and accommodation to attend a Walkinshaw factory tour and a Walkinshaw Andretti United track day.

 

VGA has sold 5289 Amarok 4x4s so far this year ending September, accounting for 4.9 per cent of the ever-popular 4x4 pick-up truck segment.


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