For many years, VW’s Amarok has wrongly been the butt of many jokes because of the brand’s decision to stick with a 2.0-litre twin turbo diesel engine in a market saturated with 3.0-litre and 3.2-litre big-boy offerings.
And the irony is that when tested, the 2.0-litre Amarok is every bit as quick as its bigger-capacity rivals. In fact, the “old” 2.0-litre Amarok just won a huge local shootout against the other latest offerings. So can you imagine the humble pie the rivals will have to eat, now that VW has finally given in and fitted a 3.0-litre V6 TDI to their upgraded Amarok.
And this engine is not some agricultural offering. It is a state of the power plant, as found in the Audi A6 and A7. It produces 165kW from 3 000 to 4 500rpm and 550Nm of torque from 1 400 to 1 750rpm. With an overboost, the power output is increased to 180kW and torque to 580Nm for about 10 seconds.
And I can assure you, this is not just talk, the V6 Amarok simply destroys its rivals on the road. Ford’s new 3.2 Ranger, although rated at the same power as the old Ranger, is faster than the old bakkie and was king of the hill until now.
The V6 Amarok, with permanent 4MOTION four-wheel drive and eight-speed automatic transmission, gets to 100km/h in a mere 8 seconds, which is around 4 seconds quicker than the Ranger.
And it gets to 140km/h in 16 seconds – a full 8 seconds quicker. The pain continues as the Amarok is 13km/h faster at 194km/h true on top end and also gets from 60 to 140km/h – almost 8 seconds quicker than the Ranger. Ironically, I got the fuel consumption for both at 10.9 litres per 100km.
So if you have enough time to catch a glimpse of the new V6 Amarok, as it blows past your bakkie, you might notice that from the outside there has been a few changes too – with the likes of a redesigned front bumper, radiator grille, new alloy wheels and a third brake light with LED technology.
You won’t notice, and didn’t either really, but inside you do get an all-new dashboard design which incorporates Volkswagen’s modular infotainment system with touch-screen radio, App-Connect, Bluetooth and USB interface that is iPod/IPhone compatible.
And of course, a comprehensive list of safety equipment comes as standard on every new Amarok, including four airbags, electronic stabilisation programme with electronic Trailer Stabilisation, Hill descent assist, Off-road ABS, and Volkswagen’s award-winning Automatic Post-Collision Braking System which can reduce the chance or severity of a secondary accident in the event of a collision.
If there is one downside, it is that having the most advanced, fastest car-like double-cab bakkie in your garage is not a cheap proposition.
The Amarok 3.0 TDI V6 165kW 4MOTION Auto Highline as tested starts at R665 700, which is R120 000 more than the top Ranger and R90 000 more than the Hilux. But if you can afford it, I am telling you: Get the V6 Amarok.