With 190kW and 580Nm on command, the full-fat version of Volkswagen’s Amarok V6 TDI that’s available in Europe (but not yet in South Africa) is already the brawniest bakkie in its class, albeit tie with Merc’s X350 CDi.

But for those that want to take their Amarok to the next level, German tuner ABT Sportsline has developed a performance package that raises its outputs to 225kW and 630Nm.

That is enough, ABT says, to get the double cab from zero to 100km/h in just 7.8 seconds, which is 0.2s quicker than the stock 3.0 TDI, while the top speed is now listed at 211km/h, up from 207km/h.

There is no rocket science involved here, just an ABT Engine Control unit, which is the heart of all ABT performance upgrades. As this is a separate control unit, the serial ECU is untouched and the vehicle remains completely diagnosable, according to ABT.

The company also has options for other, lesser powered Amaroks.

Those who bought the 165kW 3.0 TDI can opt for a performance package that ups the outputs to 195kW and 590Nm, while the 132kW 2.0 TDI can be wound up to 147kW, matching Ford’s 3.2-litre engine.

The 165kW 3.0 TDI is currently the most powerful Amarok available in South Africa, but even in that guise it’s no slouch - strapped to our V-Box at Gauteng altitude, we managed an 8.2-second 0-100km/h run, so perhaps ABT is being a little conservative with its numbers.

ABT Sportsline has sales and fitment partners around the world, including one in South Africa, located in Wynberg, Johannesburg.

IOL Motoring