Thu | Dec 9, 2021

The Amarok means business

Published:Saturday | October 2, 2021 | 12:07 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator

The broad wheelbase of the Amarok provides enormous stability even when traversing slopes with a 50 degree incline.
The broad wheelbase of the Amarok provides enormous stability even when traversing slopes with a 50 degree incline.
This 4x4 drive system with a self-locking Torsen central differential is unique in the pickup segment and provides a balanced 40:60 distribution for all on-road and off-road tasks.
This 4x4 drive system with a self-locking Torsen central differential is unique in the pickup segment and provides a balanced 40:60 distribution for all on-road and off-road tasks.
The Amarok is also available with an optional mechanical differential lock which helps provide ideal traction on sandy and slippery terrain.
The Amarok is also available with an optional mechanical differential lock which helps provide ideal traction on sandy and slippery terrain.
This is a telescopic Steering wheel with multifunction buttons.
This is a telescopic Steering wheel with multifunction buttons.
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With the massive success of the VW Beetle, which was a quirky designed vehicle that was intended to be reliable and economical, you would think the company would do more experimental vehicles like this. Instead, they played it safe over the years, with winning models like the Golf, Polo and Passat.

It wasn’t until 2010, when VW decided to shake up the auto world once more by launching their first commercial pickup, the Amarok. Built in a traditional sense with a body on frame, it offered a single and double cab, which drew interest from all over.

It’s been over a decade now and the Amarok has had enough time to acclimate itself to the pickup market. It comes with a respectable ground clearance of 19.2 cm, or 7.6 inches, with an approach angle of 29.5 degrees and departure angle of 18 degrees. The general design of the vehicle is pretty much the same, with halogen headlights and fog lights with static cornering lights.

This being the Territus Trim, there are pronounced black fenders over the wheel arches, which are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Complementing these accessories are 17’’ alloy wheels, coated black with red callipers, which gives the vehicle a very demonstrative appearance.

Inside

The Amarok is determined to be taken seriously as a pickup. As such, the layout of the interior is more about functionality than fashion. Soft plastic is used throughout and buttons are laid out in a useful manner.

There is a 6.33” touchscreen in the centre, which, surprisingly comes with an MP3-compatible CD drive, to go with the six speakers. There are also Bluetooth, Apple Carplay/Android Auto and voice command, which all work in a smooth, integrated manner.

A gripe of mine is that, I wish there were more USB ports, as I only found one, which means that you would have to walk with a converter for the ‘lighter’ socket. The vehicle also has sensors for both front and rear bumpers, and the information is displayed on the touchscreen. Truth be told, I would have loved a backup camera. However, these worked just fine and they are more durable.

The telescopic steering wheel helps to find a favourable driving position, along with the all-round visibility.

Driving

With the backing of Porsche and Audi engineers, performance is one area that the Amarok was not going to lag behind in. The 2-litre turbo diesel engine is tuned for optimal performance, pushing out 180 hp. The lever can also be shifted to sports mode, with the eight-speed transmission being controlled manually. Whether it is going over obstacles or overtaking someone, the engine steps up to the challenge without any sign of struggle.

And, even though it does feel heavy, the body roll is at a minimuml, which is very surprising, given its girth. Another plus is how comfortably it rides. Even with leaf spring suspension in the rear, the vehicle handled more like an SUV. The cabin felt unbothered by the road conditions, which brought about much confidence.

The Amarok has been in this market long enough for buyers to know it is here to stay. At first, many persons were confused about whether it was a workhorse pickup or a luxury pickup. However, with time, it has proven it is the former.

Price of tested model: $7,795,000

Engine: 2.0L Bi-Turbo Diesel

Torque: 420nm (310 ft-lb)

Transmission: 4WD, 8 Speed Automatic

Fuel tank: 80L fuel tank

Gas consumption: 9.4 l/ 100km (highway)

Body type: Pickup

Competition: Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger

Contact info: email – VWSales@atlautomotive.com or telephone – 1-888-ATL-SERV