HANOVER, GERMANY - Volkswagen’s Commercial Vehicles division has given us a closer peek at its second-generation Amarok bakkie in a new design sketch that was released on Thursday.
However, it’s also more than likely that it provides some clues about the next-generation Ford Ranger too, given that the latter company will build the Amarok right here in South Africa alongside its own bakkie, through an agreement between the two carmakers.
Given the precedent set by other bakkie partnerships, such as Nissan/Mercedes and Isuzu/Mazda, it is likely that the Amarok will have the same body shell as its Ford cousin, meaning that what you see here is in fact the shape of the next Ranger.
However, the VW will certainly have a unique frontal design, and perhaps some changes around the back and in the cabin too, particularly since Volkswagen promises that “It's not going to be just a fantastic pick-up. It’s going to be a genuine Volkswagen too - with clear DNA in both technology and design”.
Just how the German carmaker gets that right remains to be seen, but it will certainly share a structure, and very likely its engine range too, with the Ford Ranger. This means the mainstay of the range will be Ford’s 2-litre turbodiesel unit, which won’t be replaced in the new generation as it is still a fairly new engine, and Ford has invested heavily in producing it locally.
On that note, the next-generation Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok assembly project has resulted in a R15-billion investment in Ford’s Silverton plant in Gauteng. This is set to create 1200 new jobs at the plant and a further 10 000 across the supply chain. It will also lead to an increase in production capacity at the plant from the current 168 000 to over 200 000 units per annum.
Neither carmaker has given an exact on-sale date for their next-generation bakkies, however both have said we can expect production to commence in 2022.
Sources: VWCV via Carmag.