Hannover, Germany - Whether deserved or not, Volkswagen's Amarok has been regarded since its introduction as the 'plain Jane' of the one-ton pickup class - well made, well-equipped, versatile but understated, without the pizzazz of the top-of-the-range Navara, BT50 and Triton variants.
Until this one. Rather ambitiously styled the Amarok Ultimate, it's based on the upmarket Highline version, but has a revised front treatment featuring new bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED lighting strips, and two twin chrome bars on the grille.
Standard on the Ultimate, they can also be ordered for all other face-lifted Amarok variants as well; according to the maker it's the first one-tonner to be offered with xenon lighting and LED daytime running lights.
The bling-list continues with silver-coloured side-mirror housings, blacked-out tail-light lenses with LED number-plate illumination, polished 19" Aragonit alloy rims dressed in 255/55 rubber, special decals, a special silver-coloured underbody guard, a styling bar (that's nanny-speak for what we know as a roll-bar) and chromed sill sidebars.
UPSCALE NAVIGATION SYSTEM
The cabin is trimmed in dark grey and black alcantara synthetic suede with special cut-pile floor mats; standard kit includes ParkPilot - complete with a reversing camera - electric folding and heated side mirrors, heated front seats and an upscale navigation system already prepared for cell-phone hookup.
Volkswagen SA says it has no plans to bring the Euro-spec Amarok Ultimate to the South African market, although the MY2015 facelift will be released here in due course (VW SA carefully didn't say when) and that Amarockers should 'never say never'.
The Ultimate is available in Europe with a choice of two-litre TDI engines rated at 103 or 132kW, in combination with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and manual or automatic transmission, starting at €41 376.30 (R599 950) including taxes.