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.