VW’s new Amarok pickup, based on Ford Ranger, adds space and features

Volkswagen’s second-generation Amarok pickup, the result of a collaboration with Ford, is longer than the current model, has improved off-road capabilities, and comes with a new suite of driver-assistance functions.

The Amarok’s dimensions are a close match to the Ford Ranger. The pickups also share engines and drivetrains.

The Amarok was designed in Australia and will be built in South Africa, VW Commercial Vehicles said at the pickup’s unveiling on Tuesday.  

Sales will start by year-end in Belgium, South Africa and Luxembourg. Deliveries will start in Australia and New Zealand in January, followed by all European countries. The rollout will continue in the Middle East in February, with other countries to follow starting in April.

VW has not said whether the Amarok will be sold in North America, but the automaker is planning on reviving the Scout nameplate — formerly used by International Harvester — as the basis for light-duty trucks in the U.S., starting in 2026.

Volkswagen has not announced prices.

At 5350 mm long, the new model is 100 mm longer than the current version, increasing the cabin size overall and second-row legroom for double-cab models, VW said. A single-cab version will also be available. The wheelbase grows by 173 mm to 3270 mm. 

Payload is 1.2 metric tons (up from 1 ton) and towing capacity is 3.5 tons, VW said. In a nod to the  “overlanding,” or off-road exploration, trend, the Amarok can carry up to 350 kg on its roof, which VW says can support an optional four-person tent.

The Amarok is available with five turbocharged engine configurations: Three 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesels with 150, 170 or 205 hp; a six-cylinder, 3.0-liter diesel with 250 hp, and a four-cylinder, 2.3-liter gasoline engine with 302 hp. Figures will vary slightly in different markets, VW said.

Higher-power versions will have a standard 10-speed automatic transmission with e-shifter. Other transmissions include a six-speed automatic and five- and six-speed manuals.

The Amarok will also be available with VW’s part-time or full-time all-wheel-drive 4Motion system, with the permanent system standard on the six-cylinder diesel. Off-roading is improved with a fording depth of 800 mm compared with 500 mm on the current version.

VW has positioned the Amarok as a premium pickup, and has added safety and convenience features. Among them are more than 30 advanced driver assistance system functions, 20 of which are new to the Amarok, including park assist and speed assist.

Also new is the infotainment system, with an option of a 10- or 12-inch central touch screen, and a digital instrument panel 8-inch or 12-inch.  

Other options include a premium Harman Kardon sound system, 21-inch alloy wheels, accessories including lockable toolboxes and bike brackets, and an electric cover for the bed.

The pickup is available in five trim levels, including an entry-level offering, followed by the mid-tier Life and Style models, a PanAmericana edition aimed at the off-road crowd, and the urban-oriented Aventura model with premium exterior and interior detailing. 

Carsten Intra, the CEO of VW Commercial Vehicles, said the Amarok could be electrified in the future.

“What we have to do now is look into the markets to find when it’s the right timing to bring it to the market,” he said. “It’s an interesting field of action for the future.” 

VW Commercial Vehicles has already sold more than 830,000 first-generation Amaroks in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, North Asia and South and Central America.

So-called 1-ton pickups are especially popular in Latin America and parts of Africa, but the market for them in Europe remains small. Recent entrants such as Renault, Fiat and Mercedes-Benz have abandoned their efforts after a single model, and Nissan has stopped selling the Navara, which was built in Spain. 

The Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux remain the market leaders, with the Mitsubishi L200 and Isuza D-Max also popular in selected countries.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.