Although the current Amarok was an ambitious in-house development, Volkswagen has returned as a cooperation partner for the successor and has had Ford design the new VW Amarok for the past three years. Technically, the floor will be a Ford Ranger, the engines will come from Volkswagen and the second generation Amarok will go its own way in terms of design. It will initially come on the market with a combustion engine; an electric version is planned.
While the current Amarok is still rolling off the assembly line in Argentina, manufacturing in Hanover has long been history. Here everything is already geared towards the electrical ID. Buzz (test) lit. The next generation of the VW Amarok will be produced in South Africa at the same plant as the Ford Ranger, presented a few months ago. Lars Krause, member of the VW Commercial Vehicles sales board, says: “Obviously, without a cooperation partner there would not have been a new edition of the Amarok. And of course it also made us a little proud that our previous Amarok was the benchmark for the new Ford model for our colleagues was Ranger. “
Differences with the Ranger
Because while visually they are very different, the new Ford Ranger and the upcoming VW Amarok are technically largely identical. While the Ranger is already on the market as the best-selling pickup in Europe, the second generation Amarok will be presented in June. It should arrive at the customer at the end of the year. The first generation (test) was a successful model for Volkswagen, although you had to struggle with expensive production in South America and Hanover alike. To date, more than 830,000 vehicles have been sold and production in Argentina is still in full swing.
Development and production in South Africa
“We want to appeal to both traders and private customers,” says Krause, differentiating himself from many of his industry peers, who see their off-road and transporter hybrid with an open loading area primarily as a tool for gardeners and landscapers or construction companies. Most of the testing of the new VW Amarok takes place in South Africa, where the vehicle is not only to be produced but also extensively developed. Four test cars are currently on the road in Germany to incorporate the final results.
“The common parts of the two body versions are manageable. With the Ford Ranger, we only share the mirror, roof and rear window, the rest are completely independent and come from our design team,” explains Lars Krause.
Known engines, then electric traction
The engine range is similar to that of its predecessor. For most markets, two different diesel engines are offered: with four cylinders and two liters of displacement or with six cylinders and three liters. Both will be available in two power variants, ranging from 132 to 177 kW. Depending on the engine, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is installed. Particularly price-sensitive Asian markets should also be equipped with a single cab, petrol engine and five-speed gearbox. The basic versions have a manual handbrake, the higher quality variants an electric parking brake. In the medium term, an electric version is planned for both Ford and Volkswagen.
It is good that the structure remains the same. The drives are installed longitudinally in a ladder frame, with a rigid axle at the rear driven by two longitudinal leaf springs and a double wishbone structure at the front. In all-wheel drive models, power is diverted to the output of the transmission and distributed to the front axle with a cardan shaft running alongside the transmission. Ford offers activation that includes the off-road level. This simple technology is great off-road, but due to the lack of a center differential it is practically unusable on the road, especially with a long wheelbase. VW wants to offer a version with permanent all-wheel drive that makes more sense for use on the road, as with the Amarok which is still available.
At 5.35 meters, the deck is 10cm longer than its predecessor and the wheelbase is 17.5cm longer at 3.27 meters. With a width of 1.91 meters and a height of 1.88 meters, it is theoretically still suitable for garage parking. The payload is up to 1.2 tons, the trailer load is 3.5 tons and a euro pallet fits between the wheel arches in the loading area. The lashing eyes on the loading area should be suitable for 500 kg and the permissible roof load of 350 kg would also be suitable for an overhanging roof tent with occupancy.
As rustic as the new VW Amarok looks from the outside, it is just as comfortable on the inside. Depending on the cabin selected (VW only offers single or double cabins), it offers space for up to five people, in front of electrically adjustable seating, digital displays and, if desired, even a Harman Kardon sound system. Volkswagen apparently has some lifestyle ambitions for its work car.