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NEW AMAROK REVEALED: Australian release date, engines confirmed for second-generation Volkswagen ute


The second-generation Volkswagen Amarok has been officially unveiled with a beefy 184kW 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 sitting at the top of the range

Volkswagen has unveiled the long-awaited second-generation Amarok and outlined the engines and grades that will be coming to Australia.

The Amarok has been built in close collaboration with Ford’s new T6.2 Ranger but Volkswagen executives insist that “everything you see is Amarok”, with the new ute featuring a unique yet premium design.

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 Panamericana rear end
The second-generation Volkswagen Amarok has been officially unveiled in Australia

A 184kW/600Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 will serve as the flagship engine option in Australia when it arrives in early 2023, with production at Ford’s factory already underway. 

So far, five grades have been outlined for the global market, with a base grade, known simply as the ‘Amarok’, confirmed alongside the Life and Style while the PanAmericana and Aventura share the top-stop as the flagships of the range. 

The Aventura will effectively serve as a replacement for the Ultimate, with an on-road focus that sees the introduction of wheel sizes of up to a massive 21-inches. The PanAmericana will instead use smaller 18-inch wheels wrapped in more durable chunky tyres and also benefits from a staunch selection of underbody protection.

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 Panamericana front end
The Amarok PanAmericana (pictured) and Aventura will serve and the flagship models of the range

A bigger, better ute

In order to increase the general amount of rear-seat space and boost the off-road capability, Volkswagen has increased the size of the Amarok in every dimension.

The 3270mm wheelbase is some 173mm longer which contributes to an overall length of 5350mm which equates to a 96mm increase over its predecessor. 

Single cab versions can now fit two euro pallets in the tray, with a payload limit of up to 1.16 tonnes depending on the grade. Towing remains limited to 3.5-tonnes brakes.

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 Aventura open tray

Engines are Ford-sourced but VW developed 

Volkswagen has finally confirmed that its new line-up of five engines will be sourced from Ford but executives insist that it played a significant in developing the engines for the new generation to make sure they were well suited to traditional Amarok buyers.

The headline engine in Australia will be the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine that will likely make 184kW of power and 600Nm in our market, while Europe will make do with a more sedate 177kW state of tune.

Ford’s tried-and-tested 154kW/500Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine is also likely to make it downunder, with both engines mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 Panamericana tailgate

It remains to be seen if Volkswagen offers the 154kW engine with a full-time four-wheel-drive system or if this more advanced system will remain restricted to the V6 engine, as it is in the Ranger, or the four-cylinder will have to make do with a part-time 4WD drivetrain.

Volkswagen will also offer a 2.3-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine which develops a sprightly 222kW of power, while an entry-level 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine will be on offer with either a 110kW or 125kW state of tune and make use of a six-speed automatic transmission.

Six- and five-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel-drive options also remain for some markets but are unlikely to make an appearance in Australia.

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 Panamericana front end

Enhanced off-road capability 

The decision to adopt a 10-speed transmission for both the twin-turbo four-cylinder and V6 engine options has also seen the introduction of a low-range function on the Amarok for the first time. 

Volkswagen says the revised shape of the Amarok has also resulted in shorter front and rear overhangs, which should make the ute easier to maneuver off-road.

Wading depth has also seen a massive increase from 500mm to 800mm, which combined with a newly-developed 4Motion full-time four-wheel-drive system, should make the Amarok far more capable off the tarmac. 

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 interior

Amarok-specific interior design

Volkswagen executives emphasised the fact that the Amarok will feature an interior unique to the brand, and the design is noticeably different to the Ranger in several aspects. 

While the shape of the dash is centred around either a 10.0- or 12.0-inch touchscreen, the design of elements like the centre air vents and gear shifter are noticeably more square than the Ranger.

Another feature befitting of a premium ute and exclusive to the Amarok is the introduction of leather along the door tops and across the dashboard to provide the feeling of expense not found in other workhorse utes.

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 switchgear

Volkswagen says a full-width digital driver’s display will come standard in most markets and it appears that the Amarok’s inbuilt software is different from the Ranger, suggesting either a Volkswagen operating system or a skin overlaying the shared software.

Designers said customers emphasised the importance of physical buttons in the second-generation Amarok so the German and Australian-based team have fitted a tactile volume knob, switches under the touchscreen and a multi-function steering wheel in the Amarok, though the climate controls are still integrated into the touchscreen.