At last, this is the new Volkswagen Amarok in all its restyled glory, and for 2016 it is goodbye much-maligned four-cylinder engine range and hello to a grunty 3.0-litre V6 under the bonnet.
We brought you VW’s sketches of a restyled Amarok not so long ago, and the response from readers was wholly positive. Although the in-the-metal cosmetic changes appear more low-key in these first official pictures – with a revised front bumper, extra chrome on the front grille, smarter alloy wheel designs, darkened rear tail-lamps and some 4Motion and V6 decals – the massive news is the addition of a new 3.0-litre V6 engine – the first non-four-cylinder motor offered in VW’s bakkie.
Flying in the face of the downsizing trend, the facelifted bakkie now gets a new 3.0-litre V6 unit in its fight against the Ford Ranger and new Toyota Hilux. The result is it becomes the torquiest bakkie available at the moment, with an improved towing capacity (up to 3.5 tonnes) which should appeal to the lifestyle upmarket bakkie buyers the Amarok’s aimed at. Permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive is available on all models, as is an eight-speed auto transmission, with two other powertrain layouts: Rear wheel-drive only and front-wheel drive with selectable four-wheel drive. VWSA tells us the current 2.0-litre engines will be carried over to the new model when it is launched in SA in the second half of 2017. The V6 TDI engine is still under consideration for local market.
Tell me more about the V6 diesel outputs. Well, the EU6-compliant V6 turbodiesel comes in only one capacity, but as is the way with VW these days, three power outputs: 120kW, 149kW and the full 165kW, the most powerful available with a fulsome 550Nm of torque. This is up from 420Nm in the old 2.0 BiTDI diesel and by rights the engine should deliver significantly improved performance and driveability.
Despite the V6’s performance boost, the Amarok manages to drop just under the 200g/km of CO2 barrier when fitted with the eight-speed auto, and offers as low as 7.5l/100km on the combined cycle, if you believe VW’s economy claims that is.
Not content merely with the new engine, Wolfsburg has added a raft of extra equipment for 2016: 14-way adjustable seats, upgraded Climatronic ventilation system and paddle-shift gearchanges are now added to the steering wheel for the full upmarket experience. If you’re so inclined, twenty-inch wheels are offered and the infotainment system is upgraded too. Safety kit now reads like that of a VW passenger car with post-collision braking, stability control, parking sensors and cameras.
Prices have yet to be announced but buyers will be able to order the updated Amarok model in 2017, with the world launch happening in Germany later in 2016. We will bring you more local details as soon as we know more.