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Volkswagen Amarok 2023: Walkinshaw and R variants both on the table


It’s unlikely that that Volkswagen will build a performance Amarok on its own, and will instead look toward its ongoing Walkinshaw partnership 

With the related Ford Ranger having spawned the very successful Ranger Raptor high-performance ute, could Volkswagen be working on its own red-hot Amarok variant, too?

Volkswagen Australia’s general manager of corporate communications, Paul Pottinger, said that Walkinshaw could lead the way with a performance ute, while also not ruling out an R-badged version in the spirit of Volkswagen’s fast passenger car models. 

Volkswagen’s previous partnership with Walkinshaw spawned the successful W-Series variants

“The [previous generation] W580 is more indicative of the way in which we will go. That’s not to say there won’t be an R. There might be both”. 

“History already points to the most logical answer,” Pottinger said. 

Volkswagen Australia made the good point that the R brand has never really been about the commercial side of the business, and more for passenger cars like the Golf R

Walkinshaw W580SE Amarok badge 2022
Walkinshaw is expected to build a new series of pumped-up Amaroks based on the new generation

It’s expected that the next-generation of Walkinshaw-fettled Amaroks will begin later in the new-generation Amarok’s life cycle. 

What could we see from a new Walkinshaw Amarok?

We know from history that the outputs for the last-gen Walkinshaw Amarok remained largely the same, however it was more about fine tuning the chassis with better suspension. 

We could expect to see a similar-to-Ranger-Raptor Fox-shock Amarok in the future with an existing engine. 

Volkswagen Amarok Aventura Aus 2023 driving front
Ford’s high-output 222kW/452Nm 2.3-litre turbo-petrol engine found in the Aventura could offer some serious punch

In terms of powertrain, Volkswagen, along with Walkinshaw, have plenty to work with this time around with this new Amarok generation and have multiple engines to choose from. 

While it’s unlikely that Walkinshaw will turn up the boost on this existing engine lineup, the Aventura’s Ford-sourced 222kW/452Nm 2.3-litre petrol engine could be a winner for a performance-focused ute with on or off-road suspension fitted. 

And of course, the venerable 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine with 184kW/600Nm is certainly a more likely option for Volkswagen and Walkinshaw, as it’s fitted exclusively to the current flagship multi-terrain Panamericana.