The teaser campaign for the 2023 Amarok continues, with Volkswagen revealing the tailgate of the long-awaited ute.
We’ll see the ute in full on July 7, 2022, and the vehicle will arrive locally early in 2023.
That puts it at least six months or so behind the next-generation Ford Ranger, with which it shares its underpinnings.
The latest teaser shows a set of more visually interesting LED tail lights, while a V6 badge points to the continued availability of a V6 engine – a rarity in this segment.
Instead of a Volkswagen engine, however, it’ll be sourced from Ford.
In the Ranger, Ford’s 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 makes 184kW of power and 600Nm of torque. It’s mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission, along with a full-time four-wheel drive system.
Volkswagen’s current Amarok flagship, the W580, makes 190kW and 580Nm from its 3.0-litre displacement.
Unlike the Ford, the Volkswagen will eschew halogen headlights for its lower-spec models. All grades will have LEDs or matrix LEDs.
Past teasers of the Amarok’s front-end and interior have revealed a greater level of visual differentiation between the Volkswagen and the Ford than, for example, the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins.
That’s in keeping with what we’ve heard from VW, which has previously promised it’ll pack “genuine Volkswagen DNA” when it launches.
“This is the car our designers both Melbourne and in Europe have been working on tirelessly over the last few years, to come up with a car that expresses what we know are the absolute attributes of Volkswagen,” Ryan Davies, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia national sales manager, has previously told media.
Developed by teams in Australia and Europe, the latest version of the so-called ute will be produced in Silverton, South Africa in future.
The current model is assembled in Argentina, and the Ranger will continue to come from Thailand, by contrast.
Volkswagen Commercial is also promising new-to-segment driver-assist features, superior off-road abilities, a more comfortable and premium interior, and a significantly redesigned body.
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.
Volkswagen is also getting ready to launch a pair of electric off-roaders – one SUV, one ute – in North America in 2026 under the resurrected Scout nameplate, though it’s unlikely either will share anything with the Amarok.