2023 Volkwagen Amarok teased – Ford Ranger-based pick-up gets 2.0 to 3.0L diesel, petrol; end-2022 launch

2023 Volkwagen Amarok teased – Ford Ranger-based pick-up gets 2.0 to 3.0L diesel, petrol; end-2022 launch

Volkswagen has released the first official images of the new Amarok pick-up truck, which will go on sale at the end of the year. Unlike the 12-year-old original – which was a costly ground-up build – the second-generation model will be based on the latest Ford Ranger, which was revealed last year.

As per the Ranger, the new Amarok was developed primarily in Australia and will be produced at the Blue Oval’s South African plant. It shares the Ford’s general dimensions, meaning it has grown significantly over its predecessor – at 5,350 mm long, it is at least 100 mm longer than before, while its 3,270 mm wheelbase is also 175 mm longer. Payload and towing capacity have also increased to 1.2 and 3.5 tonnes respectively.

Wolfsburg says the Amarok’s off-road capabilities have improved thanks to shorter overhangs and a much higher water-wading depth limit. It also claims a wider range of powertrain options for the new model, including one petrol engine and up to four diesels, coming with four and six cylinders and capacities of between 2.0 and 3.0 litres.

This means the Amarok should get Ford’s Panther 2.0 litre turbodiesel four-pot in 170 PS/405 Nm (with a single turbocharger) and 210 PS/510 Nm (twin-turbo) variants, along with a 3.0 litre turbo V6 producing 250 PS and 600 Nm of torque; there’s still no indication of what the fourth diesel engine will be.

2023 Volkwagen Amarok teased – Ford Ranger-based pick-up gets 2.0 to 3.0L diesel, petrol; end-2022 launch

The Ranger’s 302 PS/452 Nm 2.0 litre turbo petrol mill will also likely be offered, as will the six- and ten-speed automatic gearboxes and a six-speed manual option. The Amarok will come with either rear- or four-wheel drive, the latter in part-time and permanent variants.

While the prototypes shown in these images continue to be covered in camouflage, much of the styling is already visible and looks to be very different from the Ranger – despite the two vehicles sharing the same centre section. The front end is completely redesigned, featuring slimmer LED headlights (IQ.Light matrix LED units optional) joined together by a large grille.

The bumper, which is embossed with the Amarok script, gets a contrasting silver X-shaped design on higher-end variants, as seen in previous sketches. The clamshell bonnet and bulging front and rear wheel arch flares are also unique to the VW, although the doors and wing mirrors are carried over from the Ford.

Also different are the LED taillights with a C-shaped design, as well as the tailgate with stamped Amarok branding. As before, the bed is claimed to be able to fit a Euro-pallet sideways, tethered using lashing rings. The VW will be available with wheels measuring up to 21 inches in diameter, wrapped in standard all-terrain tyres for the first time.

No images of the interior were provided, but VW says the Amarok will get a digital instrument cluster and a “tablet-style” infotainment touchscreen, plus an “exclusive” sound system, a faux leather-wrapped dashboard and optional 10-way power adjustment for the front seats. That sounds identical to the Ranger, right down to the Ford’s portrait centre display (10.2-inch as standard, 12-inch for the Wildtrak).

Other features include multiple drive modes – including for “non-standard” driving conditions (i.e. off-road) – and over 30 driver assistance systems, ten of which are said to be new to the Amarok. For reference, the Ranger is available with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane centring assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert with auto brake and reverse AEB.

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.


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