New 2022 Volkswagen Amarok to be revealed on 7 July
Volkswagen’s second-generation Amarok will return as an upmarket pick-up truck
With the Mercedes X-Class premium pick-up truck only lasting a few years on sale, the Volkswagen Amarok has been pretty much sweeping up sales at the higher end of the pick-up truck segment for the last decade by itself.
So it’s not surprising Volkswagen has announced a second iteration of the Amarok will be revealed on 7 July. As part of a deal between VW and Ford for commercial vehicles, the new Amarok will share plenty of components with the American brand’s new Ranger model after the two firms agreed on a strategic alliance back in 2018.
We already have a good idea how the new Amarok will look, inside and out; Volkswagen recently gave us our first view of the interior, and it looks like the Amarok will maintain its position at the premium end of the pick-up market with a plush cabin.
Lots of technology and features will be taken from VW’s car range - including a leather steering wheel adorned with plenty of buttons. The central touchscreen has grown from 6.3 inches to a maximum size of 12 inches, although there’s a 10-inch system as well.
The infotainment on the screen can be configured to show a variety of driver assistance systems (over 30 on the new Amarok), including lane-keeping, lane-change, speed assist and road sign recognition. Other functions such as the satellite navigation, air-conditioning and the sound system also feature as main menus. Underneath the display, we see a row of physical switches that provide direct access to some of the Amarok’s functions.
Volkswagen says the Amarok will use the brand’s newest ‘Virtual Cockpit’, so behind the steering wheel, we expect to see TFT dials, a range of trip displays and the ability to display the navigation screen between the dials.
The German car giant has also teased what the outside of the Amarok will look like, most recently showing the new pick-up truck’s tailgate.
Volkswagen has previously announced the second-generation Amarok will still be available with a diesel V6 engine option alongside a choice of four-cylinder 2.0-litre TDI powertrains. Our first undisguised look at the rear of the Amarok confirms the design previous spy shots have hinted at.
In a short video posted on the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Twitter page, the Amarok’s rear lights appear different to those in the initial design sketches Volkswagen posted back in 2020, with the clusters integrating a narrow vertical light signature.
Unsurprisingly, the tailgate is similar to the current Amarok, although the ‘Amarok’ script is pressed into the panel. Previous spy images have also revealed it’ll feature a set of side steps, along with a rear grab handle in the bed.
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.”
The Amarok 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.
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.
“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.