Volkswagen new Amarok pick-up truck starts life by proving itself at the world’s toughest race. The Argentina made truck is part of the Volkswagen Motorsport team currently taking part in the Dakar rally across South America.

A total of 35 Amaroks are being used as support vehicles by the VW works team and Dakar organisers. The rally started in Buenos Aires on New Year’s Day and will make a 9000 km loop across Argentina and Chile before ending at the same city on 16 January. The route includes mountain passes at an altitude of over 4,000 metres, as well as through the world’s driest desert, the Atacama. The Amarok support cars are tasked to keep up with the competitors and be on hand to provide technical assistance.

The Amarok can be had with switchable or permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive, an electronic differential lock (EDL) and Off-Road ABS to significantly shorten braking distances on loose surfaces. It also has Hill Descent Assist while the ESP Plus system includes Hill Hold Assist which prevents the vehicle from rolling back on inclines. For more info about the Amarok, check out our previous post here.

Volkswagen is doing well in the Dakar so far. After stage 6, Spain’s Carlos Sainz is leading Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and American Mark Miller in the overall standings – all three are VW drivers. The closest BMW is in seventh (Guerlain Chicherit) while Dakar’s living legend Stéphane Peterhansel is eighth in his BMW.