It’s here: Volkswagen finally debuts all-new Amarok

Here it is folks. As promised, Volkswagen (VW) has finally pulled back the covers of its second-generation Amarok, which will be built here in Mzansi alongside the recently revealed Ford Ranger.

As much as bakkies remain part of local culture, they’ve become popular over the years with most manufacturers planning to join the competitive fold.

As for the new Amarok, it will arrive in South Africa towards the end of the year and will be available in five trim levels; Amarok, Life, Style, PanAmericana (off-road character) and Aventura (on-road character). Depending on the market, the Amarok can be had either as a double cab or a two-door single cab. We do, however, doubt the latter will be sold here as it was discontinued for the outgoing generation.

In terms of dimensions, the new Amarok is 96mm longer with a wheelbase that’s been stretched by 173mm over the outgoing model for improved interior space, which VW says is especially better in the double cab’s second row of seats.

Off-road fanatics will be happy to know that it has shorter body overhangs for sharper proportions as well as better approach angles. VW offers the advanced wheel-drive (AWD) system as standard and going through water will be a lot easier thanks to an enhanced wading depth that’s been increased from 500mm to 800mm.

The load bin has enough room to fit in a Euro pallet and enough eye rings to strap in goods of up to 500kg. The payload has been increased from 1 tonne to 1.16 tonnes, which should be enough to go about any work at hand. The load bin can also be secured via an electrically-operated roll cover which can be opened and closed from the bin itself, from inside the car or by remote control via the key fob.

Suitable for camping, the roof load capacity is capped at 350kg, which is suitable for a four-person roof tent that can be purchased as an accessory. The new Amarok will be available with 18-inch and up to 21-inch rims as well as other features such as a bike holder, a multifunction carrier system, a manual version of the roll cover and a very diverse range of styling bars.

As depicted by teaser images, the interior has been digitised and that comes courtesy of a tablet-style infotainment system similar to what we’ve seen in the upcoming Ford Ranger. The system is available in different sizes of 10-inch and 12-inch depending on the model specified. There’s a digital instrument cluster that measures between eight and 12 inches for the high-end variants.

The Amarok didn’t go fully digital and still boasts ergonomically configured buttons, rotary switches and toggle switches for the AWD and infotainment systems finished in aluminium, a detail also dependent on trim level.

Standard in the PanAmericana and Ventura models and available as an option in the lesser variants is the Harman-Kardon sound system, which is being used exclusively in the Amarok. The PanAmericana and Aventura trims get a leather-look instrument panel with contrast stitching as well as ergonomically designed seats with plenty of adjustments.

The Style version has ArtVelours covers as standard. The Amarok PanAmericana and Aventura Volkswagen use high-quality leather.

The new Amarok is available in four turbocharged direct injection (TDI) engines and a sole turbocharged stratified injection (TSI) power plant. The range-opening 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI engines deliver 110kW and 125kW of power. Depending on the market, there’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit in different tunes that pushes the power outputs to 150kW or 154kW.

The Amarok benefits from Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine with 222kW of grunt. This is the same unit that powers other products within Ford’s range.

As for the transmission, the eight-speed automatic version is gone and replaced by Ford’s 10-speed automatic gearbox. Depending on the market and model specified, there’ll be a six-speed automatic transmission and manual six- or five-speed gearboxes for various engines. VW offers the 4Motion system in two different settings; one with selectable all-wheel-drive based on the given situation, and one with permanent all-wheel-drive. Both are good for towing up to 3.5 tonnes.

Regarding safety, the Amarok features more than 20 new driver-assist systems and up to six different drive modes such as adaptive cruise control. It also features LED matrix headlights, which are new on the Amarok.

The Amarok will be assembled at Ford’s Silverton Plant in Pretoria alongside the Ranger and is scheduled to arrive on the market in the first quarter of 2023.

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