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More VW Amarok details emerge

Manual labour: VW has confirmed that its Amarok will not get an automatic transmission until 2012.

VW one-tonner to get two engines, two body styles but just one gearbox for now

19 Oct 2010

VOLKSWAGEN underlined the fact that the 2010 Australian International Motor Show was all about the one-tonne truck when it released some long-awaited details about its Amarok pick-up.

Pre-show rumours suggested a single cab variant would make an appearance in Sydney, but in the end, only a pair of production ready Dual Cab models and another version brandishing Paris-Dakar rally support vehicle livery, arrived to tempt curious ute buyers away from the Ford T6 Ranger and related Mazda BT-50 debutantes.

What we did learn was that the Amarok will arrive in March 2011 in three drivetrain types – 2WD (rear-wheel drive), 4WD (four-wheel drive with 4x4 off-road ability), and AWD (with 4MOTION all-wheel drive for all-weather on-road grip).

Two four-cylinder engines garnered from the T5 Transporter van range will be offered at first – a high-power 2.0-litre common rail twin-turbo diesel, as well as 2.0-litre TSI petrol unit.

Initially, only a six-speed manual gearbox will be available, with an automatic transmission not due to be fitted to the Amarok before 2012 at the earliest.

3 center imageBesides the Dual Cab, a Single Cab model also will be released, but not before the end of 2011. A Cab Chassis has long been rumoured to also be in the pipeline, although a Volkswagen spokesman denied its existence for the foreseeable future.

Speculation suggests a five or seven-seater SUV version might also be spun off the Amarok, although such a vehicle might not fit into Volkswagen’s brand structure in Australia.

According to Volkswagen’s Australian commercial vehicle manager, Phil Clarke, the Amarok will set new standards in safety, refinement, comfort and capability in the one-tonne utility class.

More information will be revealed closer to the pick-up’s launch in February, but Volkswagen public relations manager Karl Gehling told GoAuto that the one-tonner’s pricing would be “highly competitive” against the big-selling Toyota HiLux and Nissan D40 Navara.

Meanwhile, the facelifted VW Caddy range will go on sale in Australia before the end of the year.

Due in December, the MY11 GP series will feature a new nose, revamped cabin including improved sound insulation, a forward step in active and passive safety features such as standard ESC stability control, and an advance in comfort and convenience items.

It will also be available in long-wheelbase Maxi, Caddy Life five-seater, and Caddy Life Maxi seven-seater varieties.

Engine choices will be a 1.2-litre turbo petrol four, and a related pair of common rail turbo-diesel units in 1.6-litre TDI and 2.0-litre TDI sizes. Gearbox choices will run to five-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch transmissions, depending on the model and specification.

As an aside, one of Ford’s T6 Ranger crew – in Sydney for the global reveal two nights before the show commenced on Friday October 15 – told Fairfax that he had “concerns” about the Amarok’s ability to tow effectively.

The report quotes vice president Operations of Ford Motor Company's Asia Pacific and Africa region, Raj Nair, as saying that a laden Amarok “…with just 100kg or 200kg in that box… is going to have some problems”.

Volkswagen’s Mr Clarke quickly dismissed this as bogus.

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