‘This is Amarok’ – Generation II Pick-up from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

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‘I Am’(arok) – ‘This is Amarok’ were two slogans used to promote the all-new second-generation Volkswagen Amarok launched at Carton House Estate in Kildare. This time around, the new model range is jointly developed with Ford and it the first real example of the collaboration partnership between Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles & Ford Motor Company. Designed in Germany, Australia and South Africa (where it is produced alongside the new Ford Ranger), new Amarok features its own styling DNA and a whole host of hi-tech and hi-spec fittings, furniture and equipment levels.

More than 830,000 first generation Amaroks were sold worldwide since its introduction in 2010. Back then it became the inaugural winner if the International Pick-up Award (IPUA), following jury test-trials held in Ireland. A major model update in 2016 saw the addition of Volkswagen’s powerful and refined V6 TDI engines, opening the Amarok up to a whole new customer base. This version went on to secure a second IPUA title.

The second-generation model builds on an already successful formula thanks to the addition of more than 25 assistance systems, infotainment displays measuring up to 12.3in, and high-quality materials throughout.

Powered by efficient four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines, this latest model offers a payload of up to 1.19 tonnes and 3.5 tonne towing capacity. Available in five trim levels – Amarok, Life, Style, PanAmericana and Aventura – it is sold in Ireland as a double cab, four-door pick-up, with pricing starting at €47,355 for the entry level variant and up to €71,000 for the flagship Aventura.

At 5,350 mm long, the new Amarok is 96 mm longer and slightly narrower than its predecessor. A wheelbase of 3,270 mm represents an increase of 173 mm, while wading depth has been increased from 500 mm to 800 mm.

The range starts with a 168 hp version of the 2.0-litre TDI power unit (available in entry-level Amarok & Life) trims. Stepping up to the Style model increases output of the 2.0 TDI engine to 202HP and adds a 10-speed automatic transmission (optional in Life trim). Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ acclaimed six-cylinder, 3.0-litre TDI power plant – the refined V6 is available in Style, PanAmerica and Aventura models. Power has increased to 237hp, channelled through a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Amarok comes with all-wheel drive (4MOTION) as standard. Depending on specification, up to 25 assistance systems make driving safer and even more effortless. Assistance features include automatic cruise control system, a parking assistant, 360-degree all-round view (‘Area View’), lane change assistant and road sign recognition.

Standard equipment on the basic Amaork is generous, including power folding mirrors, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, VW Connect with eCall Emergency System and Online Voice Control, LED headlights, a 10.1in infotainment system, 8in multifunction display, semi-automatic air conditioning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear-View Camera and parking sensors.

Upgrading to Life (from €50,345) adds 17in alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, 8-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, rear privacy glass, leather wrapped steering wheel, an electronic parking brake front sensors and rain/light sensing headlights and wipers. Style models (from €64,735) add 18in wheels, a chrome rear bumper, LED-Matrix headlights, heated ArtVelour seats, a 12in portrait-style touchscreen and 12.3-in instrument screen , 10-way electrically-adjustable seats, two-zone Climatronic A/C, Light Assist and Lane Assist.

PanAmerica models (from €68,620) get rugged X-shaped bumpers, LED rear lights, black styling bars and step bars, leather seat trims, a dedicated navigation system, 640-watt Harmon Kardon sound system, ambient lighting, electrically-adjustable passenger seats, black headliner and a 360-degree camera. Meanwhile, range-topping Aventura models (from €70,890) feature large 20in alloys, body coloured sports bars and chrome step bars.

As was the case with its predecessor, the cargo bed has enough room for a Europallet loaded sideways or lengthways. The maximum height of the tail lift has also increased, dependent on specification, by as much as 21 mm to 529 mm. Static roof load capacity has increased to 350 kilograms – enough for a roof tent for overnight off-road adventures. Meanwhile, the list of options includes alloy wheels up to 21in, wireless smartphone charging, all-terrain tyres, bike holders, roll covers and a hard top for the cargo bed.

All Amarok models fitted with 12in infotainment systems are also equipped with VW Connect Navigation. This package includes Online Traffic Information, Online Route Calculation, Online Map Updates, POI Search, information on parking spaces and filling stations, and real-time weather updates. The WeConnect ID. App allows owners to interact using their smartphones while an integrated eSIM means infotainment updates can be carried out over the air.

At the launch Kim Kilduff, Head of Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland, said: “The first generation Amarok brought pick-ups to the mainstream and this second generation model is an upgrade in every way. It’s a charismatic vehicle with plenty of presence, on and off the road. The premium finish and refined driving experience have elevated it to another level while even the most challenging off-road experience cannot phase it. We knew we were getting a substantial upgrade but the last few days have proved the Amarok is setting a new benchmark for the pick-up sector here in Ireland.”

At the event, members of the press had the opportunity to try out the new pick-up on open roads as well as an off-road course created by specialist company Orangeworks, which is based at Carton House. As expected and from the initial introduction experience around Cape Town in South Africa, it flew through testing and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland are delighted with the positive feedback received so far.