VW Amarok 8-speed auto transmission arriving next year

September 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When Volkswagen’s Amarok ute launched earlier this year it was heaped with praise and Car and SUV was impressed by its ability on, and off the tarmac. But without an automatic transmission option the Amarok was always going to miss out on some sales in NZ.

Now, VW has announced that the Amarok will be available with an 8-speed automatic transmission from the mid 2012. The new gearbox is expected to be a smooth unit that will assist with overall fuel economy figures for the 1-tonne ute.

The automatic transmission will work with the Amarok’s permanent four-wheel drive and new 132kW/420Nm Twin Turbo TDI engine. Amaroks with the new automatic gearbox will also have an increased towing capacity of 3.2 metric tonnes (up to 12% gradient).

With the auto box the TDI engine will work even more effectively in every rev range, and 8th gear has been configured as a fuel-saving overdrive gear that operates at reduced engine speed.

The new automatic transmission with its maximum torque of 420 Newton metres offers a top speed of 179 km/h and takes just 8.5 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h. Towing capacity has been increased to 3.2 metric tonnes (up to 12% gradient). Continue reading “VW Amarok 8-speed auto transmission arriving next year” »

Volkswagen Amarok Highline 2011 Review

June 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s never easy being the new kid in class, if you want proof just ask Volkswagen’s new Amarok. As the first European entry into NZ’s hard fought ute segment the road ahead is rocky and steep for the Amarok. With the Volkswagen Group as a parent and some advanced tech in the Amarok’s genes it’s arrived loaded with interest and high expectations. But there are some established names and large egos to measure itself against in the NZ ute playground. So will the other kids like the new Amarok? Probably not. Should the other kids be worried? Absolutely. Car and SUV spent some time in the top spec Amarok Highline to see if this upstart has brought its A-game.

Under the Bonnet
The word Amarok means ‘wolf’ in the Inuit language and this is one wolf not content to just join the pack, it wants to do things its own way. Firstly, it has a smaller engine than its peers and is powered by a 2.0-litre twin turbo diesel unit. But that doesn’t mean its caught short on output figures; there’s 120kW of power on tap and 400Nm of max torque available from 1500rpm. That’s a fair whack of grunt for a ute of any engine size. It nearly matches the torque of the larger displacement mill in the Mitsubishi Triton (407Nm) and beats the Hilux’s 2.5-litre unit (343Nm) but can’t knock the Nissan Navara (450Nm) off its lofty perch.

The Amarok gets its high torque output from a linear twin turbo system that has the turbos engaging at different points in the rev range and overlapping briefly. The advantage of the smaller displacement engine comes with increased diesel economy. Official figures rate the Amarok at using just 7.8 litres per 100km and while that may prove a tough figure to chase down when carrying a heavy load or travelling gravel roads, it stacks up favourably against those same rivals. Continue reading “Volkswagen Amarok Highline 2011 Review” »

VW Amarok Highline first ute to score ANCAP 5-star safety

March 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) has awarded its first 5-star safety rating to the Volkswagen Amarok 4WD Highline ute.

The Amarok is now the first double cab ute in the New Zealand market to achieve this rating and is a huge sign of confidence in this new contender to the ute market which was officially launched in New Zealand on 14 February 2011.

Utes often double as both workhorse and family transport and so this 5-star rating of the Amarok Double Cab Highline comes as a boost to VW’s expected sales in the NZ market. For the record, the vehicle scored 16 out of 16 in the side impact crash test and is the first dual-cab utility to ever receive a 5-star rating from ANCAP.

The Amarok is based on an internally developed rugged ladder frame. High-strength steel gives this chassis an exceptionally high level of crash safety,de-coupling the cab from the frame results in optimal torsional resilience which is especially advantageous for the Amarok‟s driving behaviour on rugged roads, providing strength especially in the area behind the passenger compartment.

The Amarok has ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) including off-road ESP as standard across the range. ESP prevents the vehicle from breaking away and also takes into account information on load status. Off-road ESP is activated by the touch of a button and gives more control as well as reducing stopping distances on loose surfaces. Continue reading “VW Amarok Highline first ute to score ANCAP 5-star safety” »

Volkswagen unleashes Amarok ute into NZ market

February 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen NZ has officially launched it’s new Amarok ute into the competitive kiwi market and is ready to take on the big boys of the segment.

At a special event held for NZ’s motoring press, VW issued heavy-footed journalists an Amarok to test on a course of paved road, gravel road, beach and difficult off-road sections. The Amarok was impressive on every surface and was unbeaten by any obstacle. So should other ute makers be scared? You bet, the Amarok is competitive in every area and easily class-leading in some.

Amarok is the fifth model series by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the first ute by a high-volume European producer in New Zealand. Meaning “Wolf” in Inuit this ute is no wolf in sheepŸs clothing — the exterior design is based on the new Volkswagen “design DNA” with design features also found on the latest Golf and the new generations of the Transporter, Multivan, Caravelle and California.

Potent Powertrain

The high performance Twin Turbo TDI 120kW Amarok produces a hefty 400Nm of torque, whereas the 90kW TDI delivers 340Nm of pulling power. All models offer diesel engines with a 6-speed manual transmissions. The optional 4Motion model gives shiftable all-wheel drive with high/ low gear ratio for almost every type of terrain, while the Amarok is equipped with rear wheel drive as standard. With the higher-spec Twin Turbo TDI models, two exhaust turbo chargers provide an impressive vehicle response at low revs and more powerful performance at high revs. Despite the high performance the Amarok has fuel consumption from just 7.3 litres per 100 km. Continue reading “Volkswagen unleashes Amarok ute into NZ market” »

VW Amarok scoops up International Pick-up Award

October 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new Volkswagen Amarok still hasn’t launched here in NZ but it is already picking up awards overseas. The Amarok recently took top honours in the inaugural International Pick-up Awards 2011.

It wasn’t easy either with the Amarok facing some well proven competition for the award, against the current generations of the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, Isuzu D-Max and the kiwi-favourite Toyota HiLux.

In taking the title the Amarok scored marks for its “effortless off-road abilities” and best-in-class on-road performance. The Amarok’s interior was also a source of points scoring and contributed largely to its victory.

“The new Volkswagen Amarok distinguishes itself by fantastic driving qualities, both on- and off-road. It sets new standards in the pick-up category in respect to load capacity, interior room, comfort, ergonomics and fuel consumption,” a statement from the Award jury read.

Kiwi buyers keen to take a closer look at the 2011 Volkswagen Amarok will have to wait for the official launch in the first half of 2011.

Official details for the NZ-spec Amarok haven’t been released but it should be initially launched with a double cab body and a single cab may follow later. In terms of engines the Amarok will be powered by a bi-turbo 2.0 TDI diesel engine developing 120kW and 400Nm of torque, and achieve an impressive fuel economy of just 7.8l/100km.

New specs revealed on the Volkswagen Amarok Single Cab

September 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen has announced today the new details and images of its two Volkswagen Amarok Single Cab utility vehicles.

The new two-seater is set to have its world debut at the IAA Auto Show in Hanover. According to the specs released by Volkswagen, without the rear seats, the Amarok Single Cab offers a generous 3.57 square meters loading surface, creating plenty of additional space. The tray is 2205 mm in length

The Amarok Single Cab will be available with a choice between two 2.0 TDI engines, creating 122 hp and 163 respectively, and with two-wheel-drive or the company’s popular 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but VW has said it will be in showrooms globally by next year.

Be sure to check back for future updates on the Volkswagen’s Amarok ute range.

VW Amarok official support vehicle for 2010 Dakar Rally

November 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

VW Amarok concept fq

Volkswagen has just announced that 20 of its its upcoming Amarok utilities will be acting as support vehicles for the 2010 Dakar Rally, with a further 15 acting as press and shuttle vehicles.

The Dakar Rally will be the production Amarok’s first appearance, before launching in South America, Europe and the rest of the world including NZ.

Volkswagen will use the event to put the Amarok through some final endurance testing and while it won’t be competing, it must still be able to handle the same rough terrain.

In terms of competing, Volkswagen will be entering four Race Touareg teams in the event, which travels 9000km through Argentina and Chile.

“The Volkswagen Amarok is Volkswagen’s answer to the pickup and on the Dakar Rally it will have the chance to show what it’s made of and to demonstrate its flexibility and durability”, said Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

“Moreover, the Volkswagen Amarok is built in Argentina and South America is one of the most important markets for this product, so taking part in the 2010 Dakar Rally was an absolute must for us”, stresses Schaller.

Volkswagen has been clear about its intent to take down Toyota as the world’s number one carmaker. With the German carmaker recently outdoing its Japanese competitor for production numbers (read news), the battle is sure to heat up when the Amarok faces off against the established HiLux.