New SA-built Volkswagen Amarok revealed: The full story

Published Jul 7, 2022


Johannesburg - The new Volkswagen Amarok has finally revealed itself to the world, and the new bakkie is set to reach South African showrooms in the first quarter of 2023.

Although sharing its bones with the Ford Ranger, the new Volkswagen Amarok has its own unique front and rear styling and Wolfsburg has also added some of its own flavour to the cabin.

It goes into production shortly at Ford’s Silverton facility near Pretoria, and this will be the only plant in the world that produces the new Amarok. The current-generation model will however continue to be produced in Argentina for South American markets.

The new Volkswagen Amarok is a rather large vehicle. Measuring 5.35 metres in length, the second-gen model is 96mm longer than its predecessor, while the wheelbase has stretched by a significant 173mm, resulting in a more spacious cabin.

Four Ford-sourced turbodiesel engines are currently under consideration for South Africa.

At base level there is a 2.0-litre 4x2 derivative paired with a five-speed manual gearbox and offering outputs of 110kW and 350Nm.

There’s also a 125kW, 405Nm version of this single-turbo 2.0, which will be offered with six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes as well as 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.

At the upper end of the line-up is a twin-turbo 2.0 diesel that pushes 154kW and 500Nm and a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel that’s good for 184kW and 600Nm. Both of these will be sold exclusively with a 10-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.

The new V6 TDI has 6kW less but 20Nm more than the outgoing equivalent and VWSA says it offers similar performance to the current V6.

A 2.3-litre turbopetrol engine, offering 199kW, is also under consideration for SA, albeit at a later date.

The company also confirmed that the 4x4 models are fitted with a fine-tuned version of Ford’s selectable 4WD system, in contrast to today’s permanent 4WD system.

Depending on the variant, new Amarok offers a payload of up to 1.2 tonnes and a braked towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes. All-terrain tyres will also be available at factory level for the first time.

Let’s take a look inside

The cabin of the new Volkswagen Amarok is significantly more digitised than before, with the company offering a choice between 10-inch and 12-inch vertical infotainment screens and digital instrument clusters measuring between eight and 12 inches.

We didn’t get to see the interior in the flesh at the preview event held in Gauteng on Thursday, but Volkswagen does claim to have given the cabin a sense of touch and feel that’s fitting with its current models, and there’s also an ambient lighting system.

Although the infotainment systems use Ford’s SYNC 4 software, VW says the layout, iconography and colours are consistent with its own MIB systems.

Depending on the model, customers can also look forward to high-end features such as a Harman Kardon premium sound system and 10-way adjustable electric seats.

As promised, there are a lot more driver assistance gizmos available, 30 to be exact. These include Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Assist and Blind Spot Detection, among many others.

Many ways to spec your Amarok

The new Volkswagen Amarok will be offered in both double cab and single cab configurations, and although the latter bodystyle was dropped from the local line-up in the current generation, it is once again under consideration for our market.

The five trim flavours include Amarok (base), Life, Style, PanAmericana and Aventura. Each has its own distinctive visual identity, with the Aventura boasting a “styled for the city” kind of flavour and the PanAmericana having a more rugged appeal.

Volkswagen Amarok Aventura
Volkswagen Amarok PanAmericana

Of course there’s also a wide variety of wheel options, measuring up to 21-inches in diameter.

Detailed local specifications as well as pricing will be released closer to the local launch of the new Volkswagen Amarok, which is scheduled for early 2023. Stay tuned!

Watch the launch video below:

IOL Motoring