amarok, electric pickups, ford, ranger, south africa, volkswagen, volkswagen commercial vehicles

VW Commercial Vehicles is also planning a purely electric version for the next generation of the Amarok pickup. The new Amarok is being developed in cooperation with Ford and will be a Ford Ranger with its own unique drive system.

In the medium term, both Ford and VW Commercial Vehicles are planning an electric version of the pickup, as VWN board member for sales Lars Krause indicated. After VWN had already cooperated with Ford in the past, the current Amarok is an in-house development of the manufacturer based in Hanover.

The next generation will technically be a Ford Ranger with VW engines and VW design. Initially, the Amarok will be launched as a combustion engine. According to Krause, the electric version is firmly planned, but he did not give a date yet. It is also unclear how the Ranger and Amarok will differ in terms of the electric drive – in terms of engines, batteries and software.

Instead of being built in Hanover (production has since ceased) and Argentina, where the current generation of the Amarok is still coming off the production line, the upcoming model, including the electric version, will be built by Ford in South Africa. This is also where a large part of the development of the two pickups took place. In the meantime, prototypes are probably also on the road in Germany to incorporate “final findings” – in other words, to adapt the vehicles not only to South African roads but also to the German autobahn.

While the competition with its mid-sized pickups is primarily targeting commercial customers from the gardening and landscaping or agricultural sectors, VWN has its sights set on other customer groups. Volkswagen wants to appeal to tradesmen and private customers, according to Lars Krause, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle board member responsible for marketing. To achieve this, there is also to be a distinctiveness in the design. According to the sales director, the similar body parts are the mirrors, roof and rear window – all other parts are VW-specific in shape.

However, the ladder frame with a rigid rear axle is the same. At the front, there is a double-wishbone construction. The wheelbase will be 3.27 metres, which should also provide enough space for the batteries of the electric version, which will be integrated into the ladder frame. There is no information on their size yet. It also remains to be seen whether the electric version will be able to match the 1.2 tonne payload and 3.5 tonne towing capacity of the combustion engine.

The combustion engine Amarok is to be presented in June and delivered before the end of the year.

autocar.co.uk, vwn-presse.de

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