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Volkswagen Amarok 2023: rear-end view reveals tougher look for Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux rival

John Law

Sharing its underpinnings with the new Ford Ranger, the 2023 Volkswagen Amarok’s exterior has again been teased, this time in a snowy sketch

The 2023 Volkswagen Amarok ute has been teased again in a snowy sketch that differs from the savannah renderings we saw in December 2021.

This time around there are more accessories visible in the sketch that shows the next Amarok’s rear-end for the first time. Captured in this alpine scene, the Amarok is fitted out with a rear luggage rack, orange recovery points and roof-rack with integrated spotlights

In fact, the latest sketch conveys all the hallmarks of a pumped-up special edition with flared arches and beefy all-terrain tyres that hint the second-gen Amarok may get a Ranger Raptor (set to be revealed in February) equivalent in the future.

Volkswagen Amarok render 2023-1
Tough, flared arches, all-terrain tyres, recovery points and integrated spot lights, an Amarok Raptor?

When it arrives in Australia in early 2023, signs point to the new Volkswagen Amarok sharing Ford’s Lion 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine with around 190kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

We expect a full reveal of the Amarok in the middle of 2022, though the teaser sketch does give some more hints about the new VW ute that is twinned in its development with the T6.2 Ford Ranger.

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How does the Volkswagen Amarok differ from the Ford Ranger?

Unlike the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins, the co-developed Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok will have more strongly differentiated interior and exterior styling.

Volkswagen Amarok render 2023-2
You can’t see that much of the dashboard, but there’s enough to spot the Amarok is quite different from its Ford cousin

Both share the same Ford T6.2 platform that underpins not just the next Ranger and Amarok, but also the US-market Bronco

T6.2 finds its origins in the Ranger chassis in use since 2011, but it has been the subject of constant upgrades – with the latest slate of changes seeing the front axle shifted 50mm forward and a wider track to accommodate Volkswagen’s requirement to fit a pallet in the tray.

In the sketches Volkswagen has released, the viewer is positioned inside the new Amarok looking out to the rear-end of another Amarok, and that gives an idea of how the cabin treatment differs. A larger, flat-top dash with contrast stitching looks classier and has touches of Touareg large SUV – though the basic structure is taken from the new Ranger.

Like the original Amarok, there’s a handy cubby on top of the dashboard, though we can’t make out if the 12V socket has been carried over. The steering wheel we saw in earlier renders with its haptic touch buttons looks to be lifted straight from the Touareg.

Ford Ranger 2022 Wildtrak black interior
Although the basic structure is the same, Volkswagen appears to have altered the cabin designed quite drastically

As for the exterior treatment, there’s a ‘Polarwind Energy’ logo on the sideskirts which could indicate a new special edition naming convention.

The orange recovery points, beefy all-terrain tyres, sports bar, protection on the front bumper and roof rack with integrated spotlights all point towards a Volkswagen rival for the Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior and forthcoming Ranger Raptor.

Ford V6 power and Q1 2023 Australian release for the Amarok

Chasing Cars understands that a 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 will feature in the forthcoming Amarok, with outputs rated at around 190kW of power and 600Nm of torque

That’s the same power figure as the current Amarok, though torque is up by 20Nm (from a maximum of 580Nm). The V6 itself is a Power Stroke engine found in the US-market F-150, though it’s derived from the UK-built ‘Lion’ series of motors featured most recently in JLR products like the Discovery and Defender 4WDs. 

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 front end sketch
Prior Amarok sketches have been safari-themed, but the latest is in the snow

As for other engines, the Ford Ranger will be available with smaller capacity motors, but in Australia the V6 accounts for 90 percent of Amarok sales, so it remains to be seen whether the 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel four-cylinder will be available for the new Volkswagen ute.

Initially, the Amarok is likely to use the Ranger’s ten-speed automatic transmission. We know that gearbox works with a low-range transfer case, so should lend the Amarok greater off-road ability in its new form.

The new Amarok is slated to arrive in the first quarter of 2023 following a full reveal in the middle of this year. Expect pricing to go up, and with a more premium lean than the Ford Ranger the Amarok V6 will likely start at $55,000 and run up to $75,000 in upper trims.