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VW Amarok finally gets petrol

Petrol pleaser: VW's Amarok has gained a petrol engine that achieves a thrifty 9.6L/100km.

Turbo petrol power here for Volkswagen Amarok, with auto and single cab in Q3

Volkswagen logo27 Jan 2012

VOLKSWAGEN has fired another salvo in its progressive Amarok ute roll-out by introducing petrol power and a new, more efficient diesel alongside the existing 2.0-litre turbo diesel line-up.

The assault will continue later in the year when an eight-speed automatic transmission and single cab bodystyle will further expand the appeal of the Argentine-made one tonner that, despite rave reviews, has failed to set sales charts alight to date.

The new 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol engine – dubbed TSI300 – is now available only in the entry 4x2 dual-cab Amarok from $30,590 in cab-chassis guise and $32,590 in ute.

The petrol engine delivers 118kW of power between 3800rpm and 5500 rpm, and 300Nm of torque from 1600 rpm, with VW claiming excellent throttle response from low rpm.

Combined-test fuel consumption for turbo petrol four is just 9.6 litres per 100km, compared with 11.0L/100km for the 2.7-litre 116KW four-cylinder petrol engine of the market-leading Toyota HiLux in its 4x2 dual cab guise.

The new addition to the 2.0-litre diesel engine range, the TDI340, develops 90kW of power and 340Nm of torque from 1750 to 2250rpm, while sipping 7.4L/100km, making it the most efficient Amarok to date.

For now, both engines can only be ordered with a six-speed manual transmission, although that might change when the eight-speed automatic transmission – a first in this class – arrives on the market in the third quarter of this year.

3 center imageLeft: Amarok dual cab. Below: Amarok single cab.

These engines can be ordered in both dual-cab body styles – ute or cab-chassis, as well as with either heavy duty or comfort suspension settings.

Along with the new engines, the Amarok gets a few equipment upgrades for 2012, including daytime running lights on all models.

A multifunction steering wheel is now standard equipment on the Amarok Highline and Ultimate models (and option on entry Amarok and Amarok Trendline), while the Ultimate also gets heated seats.

In the third quarter of 2012, Australia will become the second market in the world after Brazil to get the eight-speed auto option and single-cab body layout.

The eight-speeder will be available in all dual-cab models as an alternative to the six-speed manual that has be the sole gearbox since the vehicle's launch globally.

At the same time, VW will step up the power of the Amarok by adding a high-performance diesel with 132kW of power and 420Nm or torque – 20Nm more than the current 400Nm engine – and 4Motion permanent four-wheel drive.

The arrival of the single cab – also in the third quarter – will provide a new entry level for the Amarok range, but VW director of commercial vehicles Phil Clark says it is too early to disclose pricing, saying only that it will be competitive.

“All I will say is that we are in the market to play and be competitive,” he said.

The single cab range will offer both petrol and diesel powertrains, and 4x2 and 4x4 drive systems.

In single cab, the new petrol 118kW turbo-charged 300TSI four-cylinder engine will only come in 4x2, as it does in the dual cab.

Also only available in 4x2 will be the base 90kW diesel TDI340, while the more powerful 120kW TDI400 will be the sole 4x4 offering, equipped with selectable 4Motion all-wheel drive.

VW is hoping the new variants will light a fire under Amarok sales, which had a sluggish start last year, not helped by having to sort the difficult supply train from Argentina that involves transhipping vehicles via either Panama or Durban, South Africa.

In 2011, VW sold 2649 Amaroks – well short of the main players.

In the mass-selling 4x4 ute segement, 2348 Amaroks were sold – only about 10 per cent of the market leader HiLux's 23,725 units – and a lowly ninth place in the sales rankings.

Even so, Australia is the Amarok's fourth biggest market after Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.

Volkswagen Amarokpricing: (before on-roads):
TDI340 Dual Cab Chassis$29,990
TSI300 Dual Cab Chassis $30,590

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