All-new Amarok on the way

Bold new design and technologies
Yochanaan Coetzee
The annual Spirit of Amarok competition, which is an amateur 4x4 precision driving championship, will kick off from 22 April to 27 June in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

A total of 560 teams - made up 1 120 people - from South Africa, Namibia and Botswana will be going head-to-head in a 4x4 course designed by 11-time SA rally champion and track racing legend, Sarel van der Merwe. This year’s competition will once again put both man and machine to the test in an effort to find the best driver-navigator duo in southern Africa.

The teams will be using the Amarok Double Cab 3.0 TDI Extreme 4MOTION Auto bakkies to contest various challenges, which is a fitting way for the wildly popular current generation to bow out.

At the event, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will present the completely new generation of its Amarok bakkie, which will be capable of even more both on- and off-road. Designed and conceived in Germany and Australia and built in South Africa, the new Amarok will once again take its place at the top of the bakkie B segment with excellent specifications, a greatly expanded array of driver-assist features and a much larger range of drive systems than its predecessor.

The first few disguised models are already out and about in Europe.

Premium design

The all-rounder's innovative, premium design is both typical of the Amarok and has, at the same time, been redefined. A powerful, charismatic exterior meets with a high-quality interior. Despite the disguise, it is already possible to identify how the dimensions have changed: At a good 5 350 mm, the new model is at least 100 mm longer than its predecessor.

A wheelbase of 3 270 mm equates to an increase of 175 mm – as a result, there is more space in the double cab. The payload also increased to up to 1.2 tonnes, and an imperious maximum towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes is now possible across more engine/gearbox variants.

As the wheelbase of the new Amarok has grown more than its total length, the bodywork overhangs have gotten smaller. And that has a positive effect on off-road capability. The off-road capabilities of the new Amarok are further perfected by a significantly greater fording depth for driving through waters than its predecessor.

Dependent on engine/gearbox variant and market, the engines available will be one petrol and up to four diesels, with four to six cylinders and cubic capacity of two to to three litres – optionally with rear-wheel drive, or on-demand or permanent all-wheel drive. A great array of pre-configured driving modes with multiple levels assists the driver, including in non-everyday situations. Enhanced safety, meanwhile, is provided by more than 30 driver-assist systems, over 20 of which are completely new to the Amarok.

Design as a statement of dominance

For now, it is still hidden behind the camouflage. In the future, however, the bakkie's exterior will present itself in powerful, charismatic form. This according to Albert Kirzinger, the head of design at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, who added: “For the new generation, we have significantly modified the Amarok’s archetypal design. It is now unambiguously more expressive and once again appreciably more impressive”.

The new front section is a statement in itself. Striking: The straight and very upright bonnet with a clear brand DNA. Charismatic: The horizontal, upper radiator grille crossbars with the concisely integrated, narrow LED headlights, which are standard for all versions. Offered as an option will be ‘IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights’; they underline the Amarok’s high-tech look. Below the bars, the radiator grille unit merges - depending on the version - in bespoke fashion into a horizontal division of the front section or into an X-shaped design on the top specification models. Embossed here, the word ‘Amarok’.

Particularly pronounced in silhouette, the half-round wheel arches are as on the previous model. In contrast to many other bakkies, the top of the arches form a practically straight rather than a circular line – a typical Amarok characteristic.

The wings above the up to 21-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain tyres (available for the first time as standard) have a powerful look.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ new bakkie is striking from the rear too. The wide tailgate is framed by the standard LED rear lights, and the word ‘Amarok’ is embossed across practically the tailgate’s full width.

As in the previous model, in the new Amarok there is sufficient space on the cargo bed between the wheel arches for a euro pallet to be loaded in sideways and strapped in place to robust lashing rings.

An interior for professional tasks and long journeys

With its intuitive controls, digital cockpit and tablet-style infotainment display, the Amarok’s interior has a functional, high-quality appearance. Such details underline the premium character of the bakkie. Further contributing to this as options are an exclusive sound system, the elegant leather-look surfaces of the instrument panel and door panels with distinctive decorative stitching. The vehicle’s premium positioning is matched by the seating.

It gives all passengers the customary Volkswagen comfort: Drivers and front-seat passengers sit in the new Amarok on comfortable, wide seats, which can optionally be configured with electric, 10-way adjustment. The rear also offers plenty of space for three adult passengers to enjoy the journey.

There will be five trim versions of the new Amarok: The entry-level version is the ‘Amarok’. It is followed by the ‘Life’ and ‘Style’. To be offered by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as equal top versions will be the ‘PanAmericana’ (off-road character) and the ‘Aventura’ (on-road character).

Following in the wheel tracks of success

Over 830 000 units of the Amarok have been sold to date in Europe, South America, southern Africa and Oceania. The strengths of the successful premium bakkie - supreme drive systems, high load capacities, systematic functionality and an authentic all-terrain design - have been further developed with the new generation. The new Amarok will launch at the end of 2022 in the first few countries with double cab and four doors, and in some individual markets with a two-door single cab versions.

- Adapted from Motorpress