Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been teasing the second-generation Amarok for nearly two years, but the midsize pickup has yet to be revealed. Switching to the updated T6 platform used by the 2022 Ranger, the new truck could spawn a high-performance version to take on the Blue Oval’s Raptor. As a refresher, Ford will unveil its speedy ute sometime next month.
In the meantime, the Australian magazine Cars Guide sat down and had a chat with the local VW Commercial Vehicles Director, Ryan Davies, about the future of the Amarok. He said that even if Ford won't allow VW to access the Ranger Raptor's parts bin, there is a backup plan should a hotter Amarok get the proverbial green light. How? By teaming up once again with Walkinshaw.
Previously known as HSV, the Walkinshaw engineering company has already collaborated with Volkswagen for a beefier Amarok based on the outgoing truck. Launched in October 2020, the W580 had slightly more oomph and a meaner look to compete with the Ranger Raptor in the Land Down Under.
Much like the old truck, a second-gen Amarok tweaked by Walkinshaw would feature a V6 TDI engine as VW Commercial Vehicles has confirmed the six-cylinder diesel will stick around for the new Ranger-based pickup. It's unclear whether it will be a true TDI in the sense VW will use its own engine or it will inherit the oil-burner from Ford.
Ryan Davies spoke with Cars Guide about the prospects of a more potent Amarok, which might get the "R" suffix or another special designation to highlight its range-topping status: "There is opportunity for everything in the pickup segment. It's definitely an option. It's what we need to investigate now."
Due to be unveiled in the coming months, the new Amarok will only live courtesy of VW's tie-up with Ford as the former admitted the truck would've otherwise been discontinued. Teasers have shown it will be more than just a rebadged Ranger, although logic tells us some of the body panels might be shared between the top, aside from the underpinnings.
VW has said the 2023 Amarok will be 100 millimetres (3.93 inches) longer and more than 40 mm (1.57 in) wider than its predecessor. A variety of four-cylinder engines will be available below the V6 TDI, but it's unclear whether a petrol mill is in the offing for some markets to mirror the new Ranger.
As previously reported, the next Amarok will be assembled by Ford alongside its Ranger equivalent at the latter's Silverton plant in South Africa.