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Volkswagen Amarok 2023: Walkinshaw version firms for next-generation ute

Daniel Gardner

Performance-boosted Volkswagen Amarok Walkinshaw on the cards for a return, but you’ll have to wait

Volkswagen is mulling a second-generation version of its most potent Amarok incarnation with the performance-authority Walkinshaw partnership looking likely to be reforged, spawning a more exclusive and muscular hero for the fresh dual-cab range.

If the pumped-up special is given the green light, it’ll form a new flagship of the freshly arrived second-generation Amarok line-up, and could provide a more aggressive version to do battle with Ford’s Ranger Raptor.

Volkswagen Amarok Aventura 2023 front 3/4
It’s possible for Walkinshaw to build upon the Aventura grade of Amarok

At the 2023 Amarok launch, Volkswagen Group Australia product and communications manager Daniel DeGasperi confirmed “We’re in discussions” and a second generation of a Walkinshaw Amarok had been on the cards since before the previous version had even ceased production.

“I was there with Ryan Walkinshaw and Ryan Davies at the headquarters as the last Walkinshaw Amarok rolled off the production line and there was definitely enthusiasm to continue that,” he said.

“Walkinshaw will get a new Amarok to do a proof of concept and they’ll do their proposals”.

Walkinshaw W580SE Amarok 2022
Walkinshaw has previously worked with Volkwagen on the W580SE Amarok

Just how the Clayton-based manufacturer will breathe more fire into the new model remains to be seen but Walkinshaw has a bigger sandbox to play in compared with the first-gen Amarok.

For a start, with Ford Ranger underpinnings, the new second-generation Amarok has a completely different platform, Volkswagen’s own suspension tuning and larger overall dimensions.

And while the V6 diesel was the obvious choice for a performance hero in the first generation, Walkinshaw has the choice of a new V6 turbo diesel or a 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder borrowed from the Ford Mustang.

A Walkinshaw Amarok could be more of a rival for Ford’s powerful Ranger Raptor

Walkinshaw has the choice of two new range-topping versions on which to base a special edtion on, with the Panamericana the likely option for an off-road star, while Volkswagen says its Aventura is a more road-focused proposition for potentially more of a GT guise. 

“Aventura is really an on-road GT, which we tasked Walkinshaw to develop last time around,” said DeGasperi. “Where they go this time and what they propose, will be in due course.”

However, if you’re after an even more potent version of the new Amarok, you’re in for a wait for the Walkie.

Volkswagen Amarok Style (Aus) 2023 rear 3/4 driving
Off-road performance could also be improved with a Walkinshaw Amarok

With the fresh new Amarok only just touched down offered in five grades and with four engine choices, DeGasperi says there’s plenty to be going on with.

“This [potential Walksinshaw version] will be 18 months to two years further down the track again”.