This time might just be the right time, since all the planets are aligned for the Volkswagen Amarok to finally arrive in the North American market. Indeed, the first generation shunned us for a host of reasons, including emissions and safety standards that imposed too many changes to the integrity of the vehicle to maintain a competitive price. This time things are likely to be different as the new Amarok is built on the basis of the new generation 2023 Ford Ranger .
Ford tells us that this Ranger is not destined for North America, but it is hard to believe in a world of rationalization and production cost containment. We had been told the same thing the last time, and we had discovered, except for a few details, the same Ranger as everywhere else in the world. As the new Ranger will arrive within two years, we can believe that it will be the same for the Amarok. Let’s stay optimistic and we’ll see.
Well of the Volkswagen
Both vans share most of their technical components, including the ladder structure. Engines come from both Volkswagen and Ford. For emerging markets, at the opening of the range, we discover a 4-cylinder Diesel of 2.0 liters of 148 horsepower; if we opt for the same engine block flanked by two turbochargers, the power then increases to 206 horsepower. Still on diesel, a 3.0-liter V6 develops between 238 and 247 horsepower, depending on where it is sold. Finally, the 2.3-litre EcoBoost 4-cylinder gasoline engine develops 298 horsepower. We will have 2 or 4 wheel drive, while the base engine can be paired with a manual gearbox; in all other cases, we’re talking about a 10-speed automatic.
Capacities vary depending on the engine, but at the top of the range, the Amarok is able to tow up to 3,500 kilos (7,716 pounds). In the crate, it can carry up to 1,000 kilos (2,200 pounds). We also improve the loading capacity on the roof to be able to add accessories, including a tent for 4 people; therefore, 350 kilos (772 pounds) are now authorized. Measurements scale across with a longer wheelbase of 173 millimeters (6.8 inches) to 3,270 millimeters. According to the manufacturer, the gain in space goes mainly to the clearance for the rear occupants.
In terms of design, the Amarok does not show its Ford origins. It adopts its own traits in continuity with the new generation of Volkswagen. A bit like on the Taos, there is an X-shaped grille layout. The headlamps have LEDs, and there are two character strips at the top and at the base of the optical units. The wheel arches are prominent to ensure a distinctive look. Depending on the version, a hoop is included in the body. As for the lights, we discover a C-shape, while the body panel sees the inscription AMAROK in large letters embossed in the structure.
In the cabin, the stylists offer even more possibilities in terms of equipment such as fully digital instrumentation and the integration of a 12-inch screen in the center of the dashboard. As always with Volkswagen, it’s very angular. Volkswagen claims to integrate up to 20 driving aids or assistance in the most equipped model.
With all the excitement we know in the compact pickup segment, Volkswagen has the long-awaited opportunity to enter this popular market in North America. The partnership with Ford should serve this cause; if all goes well, the Amarok should show up here in 2024.