This summer, fourteen new Volkswagen Amarok pick-up trucks have been saving swimmers and surfers in Portugal in one of its first utilization as an emergency services vehicle. The all-wheel drive full-bodied Amarok has been selected by the Portuguese National Institute for Search and Rescue to be used by its fast response team in carrying vital life-saving equipment.
Each unit has been installed with an emergency lighting bar and racking for surf boards. It is also fitted with an exclusive exterior design inspired by the original Volkswagen SAR pick-up concept truck that previewed the Amarok at the 2008 IAA Hanover commercial car show.
National Sales Manager Al Hemmings of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles commented that this is a great example of the flexibility that the new truck provides to fleet customers as well as the emergency services sector.
He added that it is a delight to have the Amarok off-roader added to the company’s current array of commercial cars this 2011, allowing the company to offer a versatile and extensive selection of all-wheel drive units from people carriers and vans to a robust pick-up truck.
The latest Amarok was made available in the UK market earlier this year and is available as a double cab pick-up unit with four doors and space for five adult passengers. It has the biggest loadspace in its class.
In addition, it is the most efficient vehicle among other units in the pick-up sector with better fuel economy and lower emissions due to its 2.0-litre TDI engine which gives out as much torque and power as competing units that still use bigger engines. The Amarak’s retail prices start at £17,995 (plus VAT).
For the Amarok, Volkswagen will be releasing three equipment lines to the market. Under the base model, it will feature tough components that are mainly mechanical. This means that the mirror adjustment, locking mechanisms on the door, and even the window lifts, are all manual. It has also been designed for heavy duty use. This means that the mirrors, door handles, and the front bumper, remain unpainted.
The base model though will still have the usual standard features like the front seats allowing for height adjustment, rear bench seat with variable folding, lighting for the truck bed, and a locking glove box. However it has an extra feature which is that the door mirrors have the antennas for the navigation and radio system integrated to it.
Three drivelines are also offered -- the permanent all-wheel drive, the selectable four-wheel drive, available for the two versions of the 4MOTION, and the rear-wheel drive, which is for the 4x2. The rear-wheel drive version is an entry-level version and is expected to cater to those who want a pickup that has versatility and style. Both all-wheel drive types meanwhile are excellent regardless of the terrain.
As mentioned, the Amarok 4MOTION will have the selectable four-wheel drive and it comes with the signature 4 in red. Its 4-wheel drive makes use of a rigid lock, standard in this segment, making it ideal for uphill journeys. By simply pressing a button, the lock is triggered allowing solid power to be channelled to its axles.
In order to tackle those difficult tasks, it has a lower off-road gearing to ensure that complex off-road courses are easy to master. It even makes it possible to traverse with full payload tracks that are 100% inclined and bearing a 45-degree slope angle.
The Heavy Duty spring package includes three main spring packs and two auxiliary ones that ensure that it delivers uniform comfort and high overload safety factor, in all possible load scenarios. Then there is the Amarok 4MOTION with the black 4 signature instead of the red one. It comes with the permanent all-wheel drive and delivers enhanced comfort. As it makes the most of the benefits from an all-wheel drive, it allows for excellent dynamics even on paved surfaces.
Fitted inside is the Torsen differential, considered as rare in the pickup segment, to offer high traction and the best vehicle dynamics. Though the default setting distributes power to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio, it can actually allow for variable distribution of the drive forces.
This variant will be part of the VW Amarok’s Euro-5 versions during its official launch though it will be available in Brazil only by the middle of the year. Still, all of the drivelines offered will come with the electronic differential lock which makes use of the automatic braking intervention. With this, traction is enhanced making it apt for all kinds of surfaces. For those who want their Amarok to be able to handle rugged driving conditions, the mechanical rear differential lock is offered as an option.