The steady drip-feed of 2023 Volkswagen Amarok teasers continues, with the new ute’s touchscreen the latest detail to be revealed.
The new ute will be revealed in full on July 7, ahead of a local launch early in 2023.
Volkswagen says it’ll offer “a size up to 12 inches”. The Ranger offers a choice of 10.1-inch or 12-inch touchscreens, while the outgoing Amarok has a teeny 6.33-inch screen.
The Amarok is expected to run Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system, though it appears to feature a different skin.
The climate control switchgear below the screen appears different from Ford’s.
While the Ranger and Amarok may share a large touchscreen bookended by tall air vents, their respective interiors have been styled differently.
The Amarok features different air vents, as well as a unique steering wheel and what appears to be a unique shifter. Expect a different look for the digital instrument cluster, too.
The German brand has made it clear it’s aiming to give the Amarok “genuine Volkswagen DNA”.
To that end, there’s also unique front and rear end styling.
Down back, there are unique tail lights while up front there’s a look that’s more of an evolution of the current model’s design language, in stark contrast with the shrunken F-150 look of the Ranger.
Unlike the Ford, the Volkswagen will eschew halogen headlights for its lower-spec models. All grades will have LEDs or matrix LEDs.
Volkswagen will offer the Amarok in base, Life, Style, and flagship PanAmericana and Aventura trim levels.
The PanAmericana will have an “off-road character”, while the Aventura will have more of a road-going style.
Volkswagen’s turbo-diesel V6 won’t feature but fret not: the company has confirmed a bent-six will continue, and it’s expected to be Ford’s 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
In the Ranger, this engine makes 184kW of power and 600Nm of torque.
Volkswagen’s current Amarok flagship, the W580, makes 190kW and 580Nm from its 3.0-litre displacement.
Around the globe there’ll be the choice of four diesels and one petrol, with displacement of between 2.0-litre and 3.0-litres, plus either rear-wheel drive, part-time 4×4, or full-time permanent AWD. Volkswagen says the 3.5-tonne towing capacity will remain.
Given the V6 is coming from Ford, that suggests Volkswagen will also use the Ranger’s 2.0-litre single-turbo diesel and six-speed auto, 2.0-litre biturbo and 10-speed auto, and 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol. It’s unclear what the missing option mentioned will be.
Over the outgoing model, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also promising new-to-segment driver-assist features, superior off-road abilities, and a more comfortable and premium interior.
In total, it says the Amarok will offer more than 30 driver assistance systems – another massive leap from the current car, which lacks even autonomous emergency braking.
Expect the Amarok to follow the Ranger in offering features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
Developed by teams in Australia and Europe, the latest version of the Amarok will be produced in Silverton, South Africa.
The current model is assembled in Argentina, and the Ranger will continue to come from Thailand, by contrast.
Though it shares much with the Ranger, Volkswagen says it has had its team working in parallel with Ford’s Ranger team.
It’ll once again partner with Walkinshaw on locally-tuned, up-spec version of the Amarok in the absence of a Ranger Raptor-based flagship.
Such a model would appear as early as late 2024. That’s less of a wait than the current W-Series models, which arrived around a decade after the first-generation Amarok’s launch.
The current W-Series Amaroks add features from new seats and stickers all the way through to uprated suspension, body protection, rock rails, wheel and tyres, and lighting.
They’re sold in Volkswagen dealers and keep the normal factory warranty.
Volkswagen executives in Europe have also spoken about the possibility of an electric version of the Amarok during its lifecycle.
Autocar reports this Amarok EV could be launched in Europe in 2025.
Ford will launch a plug-in hybrid version of the Ranger by 2024, but Volkswagen isn’t satisfied with the electric range of a plug-in hybrid according to Lars Krause, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle board member responsible for marketing.