No, there won’t be a Volkswagen Amarok with the Ford Ranger Raptor’s petrol V6 engine under the bonnet.
That doesn’t mean Volkswagen Australia isn’t working on something special to top the Amarok range, though.
VW Australia Commercial Vehicles boss Ryan Davies confirmed to CarExpert the Raptor’s engine is not available to Volkswagen for the Amarok, but said “where there’s a will, there might well be a way” when it comes to a flagship.
“I think we’ve demonstrated in the past in Australia we’re pretty creative people,” Mr Davies said, referencing the Walkinshaw-fettled W580S and W580X models rolled out late in the last Amarok’s life.
Mr Davies confirmed there’s a “desire” from Volkswagen Australia and Walkinshaw to rekindle their partnership on the new Amarok, and said whatever is coming will have a “different slant” to something like a Ranger Raptor.
Whatever is to come from Volkswagen and Walkinshaw won’t launch for a while; Mr Davies said it’ll likely take “two or three years” to develop and roll out another special ute.
The first-generation Amarok hit Australian showrooms in 2011, but the Amarok W580S didn’t arrive until 2021. It featured unique interior and exterior appointments, along with new dampers, wheels, and a new exhaust.
The off-road ready W580X featured similar modifications, albeit aimed at going further off the beaten track rather than long-range touring on-road.
Albert-Johann Kirzinger, head of design at Volkswagen Commercial, told CarExpert there were plenty of lessons for Volkswagen Commercial head office in Hannover, Germany, on the back of the first tie-up with Walkinshaw.
“What I take personally with me is the way of developing something,” Mr Kirzinger said. “We had some fights, but then we had the feeling of win-win [on the W580 project].”
“There was really the trust in the partnership that we tried to bring good cars to the market … that our car will be a good new Amarok.”