WOLFSBURG - In June this year Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles made the surprise announcement that the next-generation Amarok bakkie would be built in South Africa by Ford, and using the latter’s platform.
This has certainly been a cause for concern among some fans, given how the Mercedes-Benz X-Class failed to attain a following largely because buyers felt it was too closely related to the Nissan Navara that it was built alongside. The price tag probably didn’t do it any favours either.
However, Volkswagen personnel are insisting that the new Amarok won’t make the same mistake as its fellow German.
To that end, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles design head Albert Johann Kirzinger recently told Australian media that the company had sent designers to the Ford Australia design and engineering studio that is developing the next Ranger, with a view to ensuring that it had adequate Volkswagen DNA.
"We know what our Amarok means to our customers and fans in Australia. And that’s the reason why we are really working hard to have a 100 percent Volkswagen, a true Volkswagen, and not only a rebadged Ford,” Car Advice quoted Kirzinger as saying.
“I want you to rest assured that this Amarok will be a real beast.”
Furthermore, the head of the design team assigned to Australia, Gu Han Kim said that the next Amarok would define the benchmark of its class once again, Car Advice reported. In design terms he said it would be a “clear member” of the VW Commercial Vehicles line-up.
This echoes what VWCV board chairman Thomas Sedran told media members earlier this year:
“What is important for both partners (VW and Ford) is the utilisation of the same platform. At the same time we will both be able to fully deploy our strengths. Through custom designs and interfaces we will clearly differentiate the two models.”
While the German carmaker has made it clear that the next Amarok will at least look like a VW, at this stage there is absolutely no word on the technical specifics, or even on how closely the Amarok and Ford Ranger will be related mechanically.
However, there is a good chance that it will use Ford’s 2-litre twin-turbo diesel engine that’s fitted to the current Ranger Raptor. But it remains to be seen whether VW will stick with its own V6 TDI engine or use the American-sourced V6 that Ford is strongly rumoured to be employing in the next Ranger Raptor.
According to Car Expert, this new V6 turbodiesel will be the same engine that’s currently offered in the F-150 in the US, and in its current form it produces 186kW and 600Nm. That is slightly less power but a bit more torque than what VW’s latest Amarok V6 TDI offers, that being 190kW and 580Nm.