Volkswagen’s new Amarok pick-up demolishes 140-ton chimney

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 4, 2011

Volkswagen doesn’t want anyone to doubt the power of its new Amarok pick-up and to prove it, the carmaker used the model to demolish a 67 m high steel chimney that weighs about 140 tons and stands at almost the same height as the Westminster Abbey. Typically, the chimney would be demolished using a 40 ton excavator.

Doing so will take months of planning from structural engineers and demolition experts EDS. The Volkswagen Amarok will be the first pick-up to attempt this task.

A series of tests was conducted to assess the power and traction given by the Amarok. VW made this structure by using a standard procedure for any 'pull-down' demolition of flame. This cut a 'shark's mouth' into the base of the chimney, reduced its structural integrity even when it guaranteed that it remained free standing.

At the top of the chimney, four 200m lengths of rope were rigged. The rope was attached to the towbars of four standard Amarok pick-ups. Each was powered by Volkswagen's latest four-cylinder, 2.0-litre TDI engine delivering 163 PS of power.

In the demonstration, VW had to install a 'quick release' safely mechanism for the towing ropes. This made sure that the stunt drivers were protected in the event that the structure would fall in the wrong direction.

The Amarok pick-ups pulled the chimney simultaneously, making it crash to the ground as part of a planned site demolition project in Reading, Berkshire.

According to Simon Elliott, Director for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, they wanted to demonstrate at launch just how packed the new Amarok is with power and intelligence. This was achieved – through a scientific approach -- by demolishing a 67-meter steel chimney.

Taking part in this demonstration is Eldon Stevens of global decommissioning expert EDS. Stevens quipped that EDS is known for undertaking highly complex demolition projects that put their engineering abilities to the test, adding that the company was thrilled to partner with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to see whether the new Amarok is capable of bringing down such a massive structure.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will commence sales of the four door double-cab Volkswagen Amarok starting May 9. It will be available in three trim levels with a starting price of £21,343 (including VAT) on the road.

Press Release

140 TONNE CHIMNEY DEMOLISHED BY NEW VOLKSWAGEN PICK-UP

To mark the launch of its new Amarok pick-up, Volkswagen has today demonstrated the impressive power of its brand new model by using it to demolish a 67 m high steel chimney weighing approximately 140 tonnes and standing at nearly the same height as Westminster Abbey.

The chimney would normally have been demolished using a 40 tonne excavator, but after months of careful planning from structural engineers and demolition experts EDS, the Volkswagen Amarok was given the opportunity to be the first pick-up to attempt such a task.

A series of tests were developed to challenge the power and traction delivered by the Amarok. The structure was prepared using a standard procedure for any 'pull-down' demolition of flame cutting a 'shark's mouth' into the base of the chimney, reducing its structural integrity, though ensuring that it remained free standing.

Four 200m lengths of rope were rigged to the top of the chimney and attached to the towbars of four standard Amarok pick-ups, each with Volkswagen's latest four-cylinder, 2.0-litre TDI engine producing 163 PS of power. For this demonstration they were fitted with a 'quick release' safely mechanism for the towing ropes, ensuring the safety of the stunt drivers in the unlikely event of the structure falling in the wrong direction.

At the chosen time of demolition, the Amarok pick-ups simultaneously, and impressively, pulled the chimney crashing to the ground as part of a planned site demolition project in Reading, Berkshire.

Simon Elliott, Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: 'The new Amarok is packed with power and intelligence, and we wanted to achieve something extraordinary to demonstrate this for its launch. Working with the right experts and taking a scientific approach, by demolishing a 67 metre steel chimney we've shown the maximum strength and power of the Amarok.'

Eldon Stevens from worldwide decommissioning experts EDS was delighted to be part of the dramatic demonstration: 'EDS has a reputation for taking on highly complex demolition projects that really test our engineering abilities, so we were thrilled to work with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to see if the new Amarok could bring down such a vast structure. Thankfully our combined skills were up to the challenge!'

The Volkswagen Amarok is officially launched and in showrooms from Monday 9 May. The Amarok is available as a four door doublecab in three trim levels, with on the road prices starting from £21,343 (inc VAT).

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