The Amarok pick-up truck marks Volkswagen's official entry to the mid-range pick-up segment of the market. It is also the first 1-ton class pick-up to be developed in Germany. The Amarok is regarded by many as a sharp departure from what they've been using to seeing Volkswagen roll out. The truck will be available as a four-door version with double cab the single cab version is set to arrive in the first half of 2011.
Buyers can choose from two engines. First, there's the 2.0 TDI with common rail injection engine, which develops 163 PS and 400 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm. Then there's the four-cylinder TDI, which will be added to the lineup in the first half of 2010. To control the engine, there is a 6-speed manual transmission, which will be the single one available for both engines.
The engines' power will be taken to the ground by the use of three drive concepts: full-time all-wheel drive, switchable all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive.
Interestingly, the base version of the Amarok comes in rear-wheel drive. The Amarok uses the full-time all-wheel drive and has a drivetrain (which is not typical in this type of car) that is made up of Torsen differential which delivers the power in a 40:60 ratio.
At the dealerships, potential buyers will be offered a choice from three trim levels: Base, Trendline and Highline. Base is characterized by manual operated windows, unpainted front bumper, door handles and mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels, height-adjustable front seats, variable folding rear bench seat, locking glove compartment and cargo platform lighting.
Meanwhile, Trendline offers body color front bumper, door handles and mirror housings, audio with CD player, climate control (Climatic), multi-functional display, cruise control system and front fog lights.
Lastly, Highline completes the range with part-chrome mirror housings, Climatronic, leather detailing, high end sound system and fabric seat covers. The car won' be left behind when it comes to safety and has the following features: Safety wise, the pick-up packs ABS, ASR, electronic differential lock and ESP with Hill Descent Assist.
While the new Volkswagen Amarok features what is perhaps the most spacious interior in its class, its more amazing attributes lies on the fact that it boasts of well-tuned ergonomics. For instance, the Amarok boasts of lots of headroom while allowing easy ingress and egress.
Likewise, it has a generous seating layout with the rear bench proving ample legroom. Moreover, the rear seats can be folded to make way for extra interior cargo space. On the other hand, the double cab version of the Amarok sports a truck bed with the largest dimensions in its class.
In fact, the truck bed of the Amarok Double Cab is 1,555 mm long and 1,620 mm wide, for a total truck bed area of 2.52 square meters. Additionally, its maximum load width of 1,222 mm between wheel wells is also the best in class, allowing the sideways loading of Euro pallets (1.2 x 0.8 m), which is regarded a space-saving feature.
With a load sill height of 790 mm and payload capacity of as much as 1.15 metric tons, it is much easier for customers to transport sports equipment and even bulky machinery. The Amarok could also pull up to 2.8 metric tons of trailer load.
For securing the cargo in the truck bed, the Amarok features four tie-down eyes. In terms of safety, the VW Amarok cannot be outdone as the vehicle even sets new safety standards in the pickup segment. Pickups usually have front passenger airbags, but rarely have head/thorax airbags.
But the Amarok has them, as well as height-adjustable head restraints and three-point safety belts. Front safety belts feature belt tensioners while the driver’s side has a visual and acoustic belt warning system. In terms of active safety, the new VW Amarok definitely won’t be outsmarted.
In fact, Amaroks sold in Europe all feature electronic stabilization program (ESP) as standard equipment. Likewise, Amaroks with trailer prep feature ESP with trailer stabilization system. Interestingly, the VW Amarok features an "Off-Road Mode," which can be activated with a single push of a button and enabled up to speeds of 100 km/h.
When this mode is activated, a number of vehicle systems -- anti-slip regulation (ASR), ESP, anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic differential locks (EDL) -- are all tuned for off-road driving. Depending on road composition, the ABS could reduce the braking distance both off-road and on gravel road surfaces.
Likewise, when the "Off-Road Mode" is activated and the Amarok is cruising at speeds slower than 30 km/h, Hill Descent Assist also gets activated. This system keeps the driving speed constant when the pickup is managing steep descents through targeted brake actuations.
When Hill Descent Assist is activated, the driver can adapt the speed of Amarok to a certain driving situation by accelerating or braking. For Amaroks without ESP, the "Off-Road Mode" only covers ASR and Off-Road ABS systems.