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V6 Amarok reaches power limit: Volkswagen
Volkswagen finished with power battle between V6 Amarok and Mercedes X-Class
20 Jul 2018
VOLKSWAGEN will not continue to up power on its V6 Amarok, after increasing output to ensure its status as the most powerful vehicle in its class.
With the impending arrival of the Mercedes-Benz X350d and its 190kW/550Nm turbo-diesel V6, Volkswagen has upped the output of its oil-burning V6 from 165kW/550Nm, when it launched in November 2016, to 190kW (200kW on overboost)/580Nm in top-spec TDI580 guise.
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the second-generation Crafter in Auckland, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia director Carlos Santos said that the company was finished with increasing the power figure of the Amarok.
“I think that’s probably the top (output), I don’t see us going any bigger in engine, particularly not in terms of displacement or cylinder count, it’s just not in Volkswagen’s way moving forward,” he said.
“The (3.0-litre V6) engine is capable of more power as it is in different variants of other (VW) Group products we make, it’s pretty much the same engine. But at the moment there’s nothing on the nearby agenda to make it more powerful.”
He said that the current output of the Amarok was more than sufficient for its current applications.
“In a ute, with 200kW on overboost, that’s a lot of power. The current one drives like crazy,” he said.
Used in a number of products across the Volkswagen, Audi and previously Porsche ranges, the Amarok is currently the most affordable way to buy a vehicle equipped with the 3.0-litre TDI engine.
Having been on sale since 2011, the Amarok will be nearing an update by early next decade, and while nothing is confirmed at this stage, Volkswagen’s recent memorandum of understanding with Ford may give some clues to the pick-up’s future.
The Amarok and Ranger will likely require an update around the same timeframe, and with Mazda announcing they are partnering with Isuzu for its next BT-50, the stage could be set for the two companies to partner up for a next-gen pick-up.
Mr Santos said that it was too early to suggest what the future may hold for the Amarok, as the new-generation version has not yet been announced.
“Next-gen Amarok hasn’t been announced yet – there will be a next-gen – but I’m sure they’d be considering all those options,” he said.
“It would only be speculation, there is nothing that has been confirmed in that respect.”
Mr Santos said the logistical benefits of a Ford tie-in could be beneficial for Volkswagen.
“We build all of our Amaroks out of Argentina and Hannover, but Ford and in fact all of the ute manufacturers are built in Thailand, so that brings with it a free-trade agreement which significantly improves the position of the related cost because you are not paying import duty,” he said.
“There are a lot of advantages but we haven’t got anything yet that confirms anything like that. Who knows.”
Manufacturers including Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Holden and even LDV have gone down the path of co-developing ladder-frame SUVs to be sold alongside their pick-up, however Mr Santos said Volkswagen was not currently interested in developing a ladder-frame SUV, instead preferring a more passenger-oriented option.
“There’s been talk about that for years and years, they’ve never really got to do that,” he said. “I know that with the Atlas now available in the US, that would be a super interesting car for us, not a ladder-frame chassis of course, but is there room for two cars like that? I don’t think so.
“It’s probably more likely for Atlas than would be for (a ladder-frame SUV), that’s only my view, and given what (Volkswagen Australia managing director) Michael Bartsch has quoted in the past that we’d be very interested in trying to get hold of Atlas, but that really depends on markets like the UK to try to get the volume to justify the investment to move the steering wheel from one side to the other.”
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