volkswagen may not immediately come to mind when most people think of pickup trucks, however, the longtime manufacturer has just launched its second-generation Amarok pickup truck with plans to go on sale in select markets by the end of This year.
Touted as “pure Volkswagen,” the 2023 Amarok interestingly shares many components with a much better-known pickup: the Ford Ranger.
With huge success in markets beyond the United States, the first year of the Amarok sold over 830,000 units worldwide and Volkswagen hopes to see a repeat performance with even higher numbers for its successor. With heavy Ford roots, the Amarok is just powerful and distinctive enough to achieve those goals.
Produced with an alliance between the two companies, the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok share some key components, but with different styling approaches that differentiate the two trucks enough for drivers to have a clear preference when buying.
Let’s take a closer look at the 2023 Volkswagen Amarok and its heavy Ford roots!
Elements and specifications shared with the Ford Ranger
The Volkswagen Amarok twins with the Ford Ranger in many ways. They were conceived, engineered and developed side-by-side under a “global alliance” program that saw the two automakers work together in tandem in Germany and Australia, as well as the United States.
The Amarok and Ranger both have a common platform on Ford’s T6 with a 3,270mm wheelbase, box-section ladder chassis, manual and automatic transmissions and a choice of two options for the four-wheel drive system. driving wheels. They also have more than a couple of aesthetic design choices in common with a twin windshield, side and rear windows, door handles, mirror housings and roofs.
The Amarok is fitted with one of many engine choices which depend on the market as well as the driver’s choice. In African markets, the VW will be commercially available with a 2.0-liter TDI developing up to 148 horsepower. Other markets offer a more powerful 168 horsepower engine. Finally, those who opt for diesel will have a twin-turbo four-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower or 207 horsepower.
The highest performance diesel engine available in all markets for the Amarok will be a 3.0-liter V6 capable of developing up to 247 horsepower. Where gasoline is more common, markets will have access to the 298 horsepower 2.3-liter engine. All engines of 207 horsepower or less will be mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission while more powerful engines will be linked to a six-speed automatic transmission or a five- or six-speed manual transmission.
Both vehicles are equipped with a choice of one of two 4Motion all-wheel-drive configurations. One with selectable four-wheel-drive options that allow selection based on terrain and desired performance and the other with a permanent four-wheel-drive setup. In selected regions, the Amarok will also be offered with a cheaper rear-wheel-drive variant.
The different styles and characteristics of the Amarok
Comparing the design of the Volkswagen to that of its Ford counterpart, there are clear differences. It is easy to tell the two apart by placing them side by side. The hood and grilles are different, as are the headlights and bumpers on both trucks.
The Amarok adopts an overall squarer wheel arch shape and the body sculpting is different, as are the sports bars. The Amarok’s taillights are “C” shaped and slimmer than those of the Ranger’s wider rectangular taillights. The branding on the two also obviously differs, with the iconic “VW” prominently displayed in the center of the front grille and rear hatch.
The interior of both trucks is somewhat similar with the same shifters, headlight controls and blinder rods. The portrait touchscreen hardware is also shared between the two. However, the inner workings of the technology are different. The screens are brand specific in their skins and software. In addition, the other designs of the cabin are also very different.
The Amarok has clean, continuous lines where the Ford opts for more abstract shapes and patterns. The steering wheels are different shapes and the Amarok has toggles for the lower gear instead of Ford’s knobs.
Available in single and double cab body styles at launch, with the longer cab stretching the truck to 210.6 inches, the Amarok is 3.8 inches longer than its previous model. It also comes with a wheelbase increase of 6.8 inches over the previous model year. The increased distance between the axles allowed for shorter overhangs for more off-road capability and better approach and departure angles.
Additionally, the Amarok’s wading depth has been increased from 500mm to the stock 800mm, bringing it on par with the Ford Ranger and making it a bit better evolved to tackle terrain and rocks. more adventurous paths. The standard 17-inch steel wheels can also be upgraded to 21-inch alloys.
A decent 7,700 lb towing capacity and upgraded specs based on the Ford platform make the newest Amarok an impressive upgrade over the previous year’s models. The teaming up between Ford and Volkswagen has clearly paid off without sacrificing much on style, as each pickup is uniquely designed despite sharing a base. Although it has yet to be confirmed as available in US markets, the Amarok is definitely a Volkswagen product, despite its Ford roots.