Volkswagen has proudly unveiled its second-generation Volkswagen Amarok ute. 

First introduced to the New Zealand market in 2011, the Amarok, (which means ‘wolf’ in Inuit), was arguably one of the first premium ute offerings available for Kiwi buyers.

While the Amarok had limited success in New Zealand compared with the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, it still cultivated a loyal following. We certainly saw the appeal when we last tested one.  

Of course, Volkwagen’s second-gen Amarok might gain a greater following with New Zealand buyers, given that it now shares the same platform and key mechanical underpinnings of the 2023 Ford Ranger

The new Amarok will have five engine offerings globally. All are Ford sourced power plants, with four turbo-diesels and one turbocharged petrol available.

Three of the offerings are 4-cylinder single turbo-diesels, outputting between 110kW – 125kW and 350Nm – 405Nm, depending on rear-wheel or 4WD configuration. Manual gearboxes are offered as standard.

On the next rung will be a twin-turbo diesel offering around 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque, matched with either a 6-speed or 10-speed automatic gearbox, and full-time 4Motion four-wheel drive.  

Topping the range will be a 3-litre V6, outputting 184kW of power and 600Nm of torque, matched to a 10-speed automatic gearbox with full-time 4Motion four-wheel drive. 

Unfortunately, the new Amarok line-up will not get the use of Ford’s beastly 292kW/583Nm twin-turbo V6.  An electrified Amarok was teased, but not committed to yet. 

Towing capacity is expected to match the Ranger, offering up to 3.5 tonnes braked and a payload of 1.2 tonnes. Off-road ability is said to have improved too, with better wading depths and approach and departure figures, thanks to the Amarok’s unique exterior design, which has shorter overhangs.

Despite all the mechanical similarities, the Amarok’s unique exterior and interior shows that there’s slightly more to it than simple badge-engineering.

The Amarok will feature a 10.0-inch or a 12.0-inch portrait touchscreen infotainment system, alongside a digital instrument cluster. Dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charger, keyless entry and push-button start are also included, while 360-degree cameras, Matrix LEDs and hands-free parking are offered on higher trims. 

There’s also plenty of safety features in the mixture too, including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.  

New Zealand buyers will be able to get behind the wheel of the new Amarok in early 2023.  Pricing and full specs will be available closer to the local launch.

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A millennial who prefers driving cars to having avocado on toast.

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