• Nov 17th 2009 at 1:57PM
  • 24
Volkswagn Amarok pickup - click above to enlarge

Two months from now, Volkswagen will be expanding its involvement in the annual Dakar Rally in South America. Just as they did last January, factory-backed teams will be competing in the 5.600 mile race through Argentina and Chile. However, this time, those outfits will be fielding four race Touaregs rather than two.

Perhaps more interesting is official word that VW's new Amarok pickup truck will be the official support truck of the for the entire rally. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has struck a deal with the race organizers, and as a result, the specially outfitted Amaroks will travel the same route as the competitors carrying media, checking out route conditions, and carrying VW crews and race organizers. The Amarok will be built by VW in Argentina starting in 2010, but the automaker has repeatedly said the truck won't be offered in the U.S. market. Learn more by checking out the official press release after the jump.

[Source: Volkswagen]


Volkswagen Amarok will be Official Support Vehicle for Dakar Rally

* 35 pickups to be used in the world's toughest rally
* Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is the "Official Supplier" to the A.S.O.

Hannover, 16th November 2009. It is durable, robust and can tackle any road, no matter how tricky: the Volkswagen Amarok will have to prove those claims from January 2010 during the world's toughest rally. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is the "Official Supplier" to the Dakar Rally and a partner to the organiser, the Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.). The new pickup from Volkswagen will be the Support Vehicle for the rally. The organiser is to use 20 Amarok, with a further 15 to be used as press and shuttle vehicles.

From 1st to 17th January 2010, the Dakar Rally will also see four teams from Volkswagen Motorsport as well as many other teams travelling 9,000 km through Argentina and Chile. The rally starts and finishes in Buenos Aires.

The Amarok will undergo an endurance test during the Dakar Rally, because it will have to handle all the challenges of the demanding stages: as the organiser's vehicle to reconnoitre the rally stages, as a press vehicle and as a shuttle for the Volkswagen Motorsport team.

Four of the Volkswagen Amarok from the A.S.O. fleet will get additional off-road conversions for the trip, and four Panamericana multivans will also be used.

"We are pleased to be able to use the Volkswagen Amarok as our Support Vehicle, because the Dakar Rally demands the highest levels of technical perfection, reliability and endurance – from our Race Touareg as much as from the support vehicles. The Amarok is exactly the right vehicle for our team", explains Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director.

"The Volkswagen Amarok is Volkswagen's answer to the pickup and on the Dakar Rally – one of the last great adventures for mankind – it will have the chance to show what it's made of and to demonstrate its flexibility and durability", adds Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

"Moreover, the Volkswagen Amarok is built in Argentina and South America is one of the most important markets for this product, so taking part in the 2010 Dakar Rally was an absolute must for us", stresses Schaller.

The Volkswagen Amarok will be seen at the Dakar Rally in Argentina for the first time and will then be launched initially in South American markets, followed by Europe. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is entering a new vehicle sector.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take one in a TDI please.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hell, I'd buy it just for its name. Amarok sounds like the name of a death metal band, and it's weird for a German car company to come up with such a cool sounding name. Usually, they prefer alphanumerics.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sounds more like Mike Oldfield...
        • 5 Years Ago
        lmao, you've got me searching for my tubular bells cd.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dunno anytime I've seen this name I just think in my head Amuck.
      Nice looking truck though I have to admit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand why VW is adamant about not selling it here, the land of pick-ups. This looks like smaller, more useful and efficient alternative to the choices on offer right now. The Ridgeline could use some competition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Count me in for the Kei cars!
        • 5 Years Ago
        yup, bolt some seats onto the bed and import them as vans.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Look up "Chicken Tax" and you'll understand why. VW would either have to build it over here, disassemble/reassemble it to get through a loophole, or get levied a 25% tax. With the dollar taking a beating like it is, plus such a high import tax, this light truck would probably cost as much as an F-250.

        It's all about politics.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Write your congressman : Get rid of the chicken tax!

        And one more point: the US should have identical safety and emissions standards to the EU, thus allowing true "free trade".

        Here in California, we LOVE European, Asian and UK vehicles - let's bring them in, starting with the Japanese Kei cars and diesel MINI !!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      VW is wise not to bring this truck to the US market. It looks like that Honda so called "truck" the ridgeline which is not exactly been much of a hit. I like VW's and I am a big fan of the current Toureg so don't accuse me of being a VW basher.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Considering that VW doesn't sell a ton of vehicles here overall, I think if they could pull off Ridgline numbers with this, they'd be more than happy with that.

        Personally, I think if W could sell this here along with a Golf-based version, like the Pick Up they sell in Mexico, especially with TDI power in both, it wouldn't be a bad idea. VW already has clout with their TDI engines and considering the dearth of diesel options in anything besides a heavy duty full-size truck, it almost seems ridiculous for them not to entertain the idea.

        Plus, with the new plant they are building here, it's not like it couldn't happen. I don't think it will, but it would be interesting to see VW re-enter the pickup market again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Ridgeline is selling about as good as the Colorado and better than the Frontier.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's hoping that Carlos Sainz doesn't crash again, and instead gets a podium. Go Carlos!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why can't we get this in the United States with the 2.0 turbodiesel and a manual transmission?????

      I would buy one TODAY!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      VW : Amarok :: Chevy : Like A Rock
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice looking truck-- best use of the rather dull new VW grille/headlight combo yet. VW is on a roll with stupid model names, though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, this truck looks pretty good.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Sounds like Toerag (ran) Amok...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any word on what engines will be offered on the production version?
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