The new Volkswagen Amarok will share its underpinnings with the next-generation Ford Ranger, becoming one of the key vehicles to emerge from the two brands’ technical partnership. The new Amarok will be available to order towards the end of the year.
Volkswagen’s latest teaser shows the new Amarok’s rear three-quarters – and its styling will be familiar to buyers of the outgoing model. Plastic body cladding aside, the pick-up also looks identical to the new Ford Ranger when viewed from the side.
It follows the company’s previous teaser, which showed the Amarok engaging in wildlife preservation activities in South Africa. The last version of the pick-up played a key role in this line of work, forming part of Volkswagen’s partnership with the Wilderness Foundation Africa.
The sketch provided a glimpse at the pick-up’s interior, revealing a completely new dashboard design that features Volkswagen’s latest steering wheel and it’s newest “Virtual Cockpit” digital instruments. A new central infotainment system also features, and it appears the brand will retain some physical switchgear, unlike in some of its latest passenger models.
Volkswagen describes its Ford Ranger rival as having “a completely new appearance inside and out” and “even more extensive equipment on board”, including “significantly more driver-assistance systems” and new connectivity features. The company also claims it will feature “innovations that have not been seen before in this segment.”
Technical details for the Amarok are still thin on the ground, but VW has confirmed that the pick-up will be powered by a turbocharged V6 diesel engine. It’s chassis sibling, the Ford Ranger, features a 3.0-litre unit, and it’s all but certain that the same powertrain will be used in the Amarok.
Like the Ford, the engine should be linked to a 10-speed automatic gearbox and a new permanent four-wheel-drive system, which promises to make the new Amarok faster and much more capable than the previous-generation model.
Entry-level versions of the Amarok will likely be powered by one of Ford’s turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel units. The new Ranger is already offered with updated versions of the previous model’s four-cylinder units – and there’s little chance that Volkswagen would re-engineer the platform to suit its own four-cylinder diesels, because the cost would be prohibitive.
There are plans for further expansion, so it’s likely that Volkswagen will follow in Ford’s footsteps and launch a pure-electric flagship version of the Amarok. Lars Menge, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles product marketing boss, said: “In terms of drive system we are continuing to use highly efficient TDI diesel engines for the new Amarok.
“And there will be a powerful V6 TDI available in the future too, plus further power units specific in each case to the market. In other words, depending on the market the Amarok will be moving forward efficiently and powerfully as a diesel or petrol vehicle.”
Volkswagen has also confirmed some details about the next Amarok’s production plans. It’ll be built in South Africa and Argentina, and will be exported globally from those two locations. By contrast the previous model had a production centre in Hannover, which supplied the European market with vehicles.
Volkswagen and Ford confirmed plans to collaborate on the engineering of commercial vehicles and pick-up trucks last summer, as part of a large-sweeping tie-up between the automotive giants across a number of aspects of their businesses.
“Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has taken a major strategic step by establishing its cooperation with Ford. The successor to the Amarok will be one of the first fruits of this collaboration,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess last year.
At the time, the firm revealed that its first jointly developed pick-up trucks would be released in 2022, with a new Ford Ranger based on the same platform to follow the next Amarok into production.
The two brands have also announced a multi-billion pound investment in autonomous drive technology start-up company Argo AI, while from 2023, Ford will produce electric vehicles on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.
Click here for our in-depth review of the current Volkswagen Amarok pick-up…