The new Volkswagen Amarok pick-up truck arrives later this year with Ford Ranger underpinnings

pick-up trucks

Volkswagen has teased the next-generation Amarok pick-up truck ahead of its full reveal later in 2022. The firm released a series of images showing disguised late-development prototypes of the truck.

Set to be based on the next-generation Ford Ranger, the Amarok is one of a number of new, jointly-developed Volkswagen and Ford commercial vehicles that we will see in the coming years as a result of a technical partnership struck between the two firms.

The new images feature the pick-up undergoing development testing, and combined with teaser shots of the newcomer, give us a good idea of what to expect when the covers come off.

It will be larger than its predecessor, 100mm longer with a total body length of 5,350mm. However, the wheelbase grows even more, by 175mm to 3,270mm. VW says that this results in substantially more room in the cabin for passengers, while the shorter overhangs mean it is more capable off-road than before. Total payload increases to 1.2 tonnes, while more engine and gearbox variants will be capable of achieving a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity.

A set of side steps also feature, along with a distinctive two-tone rear bumper and an ‘Amarok’ script pressed into the tailgate. Despite these bespoke details, the profile of the new truck is a clear indicator of its Ford Ranger origins, sharing broadly the same silhouette as its sister model.

pick-up trucks

An interior sketch gives us a glimpse at the pick-up’s interior, revealing a completely new dashboard design that features Volkswagen’s latest steering wheel and its newest “Virtual Cockpit” digital instruments. A new central infotainment system also features, and it appears the brand will retain some physical switchgear, unlike in some of its latest passenger models.

Volkswagen describes its Ford Ranger rival as having “a completely new appearance inside and out” and “even more extensive equipment on board”, including “significantly more driver-assistance systems” and new connectivity features. The company also claims it will feature “innovations that have not been seen before in this segment.”

Technical details for the Amarok are still thin on the ground, but VW has confirmed that the pick-up will be powered by a turbocharged V6 diesel engine. Its chassis sibling, the Ford Ranger, features a 3.0-litre unit, and it’s all but certain that the same powertrain will be used in the Amarok.

Like the Ford, the engine should be linked to a 10-speed automatic gearbox and a new permanent four-wheel-drive system, which promises to make the new Amarok faster and much more capable than the previous-generation model.

Entry-level versions of the Amarok will likely be powered by one of Ford’s turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel units. The new Ranger is already offered with updated versions of the previous model’s four-cylinder units – and there’s little chance that Volkswagen would re-engineer the platform to suit its own four-cylinder diesels, because the cost would be prohibitive.

There are plans for further expansion, so it’s likely that Volkswagen will follow in Ford’s footsteps and launch a pure-electric flagship version of the Amarok. Lars Menge, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles product marketing boss, said: “In terms of drive system we are continuing to use highly efficient TDI diesel engines for the new Amarok.

pick-up trucks

“And there will be a powerful V6 TDI available in the future too, plus further power units specific in each case to the market. In other words, depending on the market the Amarok will be moving forward efficiently and powerfully as a diesel or petrol vehicle.”

Volkswagen has also confirmed some details about the next Amarok’s production plans. It’ll be built in South Africa and Argentina, and will be exported globally from those two locations. By contrast the previous model had a production centre in Hannover, which supplied the European market with vehicles.

Volkswagen and Ford confirmed plans to collaborate on the engineering of commercial vehicles and pick-up trucks in summer 2020, as part of a large-sweeping tie-up between the automotive giants across a number of aspects of their businesses.

“Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has taken a major strategic step by establishing its cooperation with Ford. The successor to the Amarok will be one of the first fruits of this collaboration,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess at the time.

The two brands have also announced a multi-billion pound investment in autonomous drive technology start-up company Argo AI, while from 2023, Ford will produce electric vehicles on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.

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