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Volkswagen set to offer long-wheelbase Amarok

Amarok XL, XXL to stretch Volkswagen’s pick-up appeal at early 2020 debut

Volkswagen logo22 Nov 2019

IN LINE with the launch of its light-commercial vehicle conversion program, Volkswagen Group Australia has announced an expansion of its Amarok pick-up range – quite literally – with the introduction of XL and XXL variants next year.

 

Available for purchase in the first half of 2020, the XL and XXL variants take normal Amarok grades and extend the wheelbase length by either 310mm (XL) or 650mm (XXL).

 

Chassis extensions will be available on both cab-chassis and tub pick-up body styles, with any four- or six-cylinder Amarok grade capable of being extended.

 

From launch, only variants equipped with the eight-speed automatic transmission will be available, however Volkswagen is working on a solution to suit Amaroks equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox.

 

The idea for the chassis extension comes from Europe, where Dutch company Veth developed a solution that chops the Amarok’s chassis just behind the C-pillar and gives the ute a greater loading area than any other mid-size pick-up.

 

For Australia, the conversions will be carried out by South Australia-based Adaptive Manufacturing, who will use the same method as Veth when converting local Amaroks.

 

Volkswagen has developed its own alloy tray for the XL, while it is understood Adaptive Manufacturing is also offering a range of tray options, with Volkswagen predicting the majority of conversion customers to opt for either a tray or canopy-style set-up instead of the traditional tub.

 

Pricing is yet to be revealed for the XL, however Volkswagen estimates the process will cost buyers around $15,000. Current Amarok owners will also be able to speak to Adaptive Manufacturing to see if a conversion can be applied.

 

Each converted Amarok will come with its own unique ESC tune to compensate for the longer wheelbase, while a rear differential lock is included as standard.

 

Volkswagen’s five-year new-vehicle warranty will apply to all converted Amaroks.

 

The target audience for the Amarok XL is split between recreational and commercial buyers, with Volkswagen hoping the former to include potential buyers of a Toyota LandCruiser 200 or 79 Series, with LandCruiser chassis extensions becoming a lucrative business in recent years – albeit at a much higher price than what VW is targeting.

 

As for the latter, Volkswagen sees the emergency services and even the military as potential buyers for the XL Amaroks, due to the increased potential for customisation that the extra tray length brings.

 

Volkswagen is also working on an ambulance version of the XL, which it hopes could supersede the LandCruiser Troop Carrier as a more modern ambulance vehicle for remote regional communities.

 

Exact pricing for the Amarok XL and XXL will be finalised closer to the launch of the conversion process next year.


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