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Future models - Volkswagen - Amarok

VW Amarok to remain most-powerful ute

Battle lines: Both V6 versions of the Volkswagen Amarok and Mercedes-Benz X-Class produce 550Nm from turbo-diesel engines, but Mercedes has managed to squeeze out 190kW compared with Volkswagen’s 165kW.

Lifted outputs expected from new Volkswagen Amarok to take fight to Benz X-Class

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Volkswagen logo14 Mar 2018

By TUNG NGUYEN

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia remains unperturbed by the reveal of the high-performance Ford Ranger Raptor and incoming V6-powered Mercedes-Benz X-Class, stating its Amarok V6 is more than a match for the fresh pick-up competitors.

Although the 165kW/550Nm Amarok V6 has been the undisputed power champion in the pick-up segment, it will lose the crown to the incoming Mercedes that arrives before year’s end packing a 190kW/550Nm punch from its bent six.

However, Volkswagen Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger told GoAuto that the Wolfsburg brand would not sit idle and let Mercedes take the title.

“We don’t intend to be overpowered in the twin-cab ute stakes, you can be assured of that,” he said.

“I think the Amarok V6 is the proven quantity, it’s up to the joint venture of Benz (and Nissan) to see if its capable of matching up to what we already offer.”

Although what form that would take is currently unclear.

At last year’s Frankfurt motor show, Volkswagen unveiled an Amarok Aventura Exclusive V6 concept that matched the Benz’s 190kW, with torque figures remaining a mystery.

Asked whether Volkswagen would take the route of a more aggressively-styled, performance ute similar to Ford’s Ranger Raptor, HSV’s SportsCat and Toyota’s incoming HiLux range-topping trio, Mr Pottinger said even now the Amarok was still “ahead of the pack”.

“I think we already have a high-performing dual-cab ute. Look at the one our apprentices adopted initially for World Time Attack, one which has subsequently lapped Mount Panorama in a pretty prodigious time,” he said.

“The great thing about that car is that while it was extensively modified, we made a point of not touching the drivetrain. It ran the current drivetrain with an eight-speed automatic and the diesel with overboost with 550Nm, it did that under its own power.

“We’ve set the benchmark and I think that’s all been done in reference to that.

I don’t think it’s an empty boast to suggest we’ve raised the game.”

Mr Pottinger said the Amarok was unique in the pick-up space as an in-house developed semi-premium offering that draws on technologies from sister brands in the Volkswagen Group.

“It’s drivetrain is shared with Porsche and Audi, no one else has got that, and there is no immediate indication that they are going to be able to match it either.”

Last year Volkswagen sold a combined total of 9282 Amarok units, well off the pace of the market-leading Toyota HiLux (47,093) and Ford Ranger (42,728), as well as the Mitsubishi Triton (23,605).

Of the sales though, Mr Pottinger revealed the vast majority of buyers opt for the more-powerful V6 and promised that Amarok fans would have more to look forward to this year.

“The fact that the majority of Amarok sales are V6 sales, and the subset of those sales tends to be the higher variants, shows the appetite for what we provide,” he said.

“And there is more to come, a Dark Label version which is forthcoming, and there will be more besides. The Amarok is an evolving story , and the whole Volkswagen, I suppose, M-O is for special editions whether it be in the ute space of the Golf space and there is enormous appetitive for our special editions.”

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