Volkswagen Amarok - Click above for high-res image gallery

Well looky here – it's the latest in a long line of oddly named trucks from Volkswagen. This time, the Amarok refers to a cryptozoological Inuit giant wolf-creature that eats those who dares to hunt alone. No really. Regardless, the Amarok is VW's first pickup truck since the Caddy, aka the Rabbitamino first released in 1980. Aside from being thirty-years more new, the Amarok looks to be a bit, well, more stout.

Spartan, too – especially the no frills interior. And here's the really good part for you truck dudes – it's a real-deal, honest-to-goodness body-on-frame worker bee. Meaning it can haul 2,300 pounds and tow nearly three tons (5,600 pounds) when equipped with VW's 2.0-liter common-rail turbo diesel four-cylinder that's good for 163 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

A smaller diesel motor with 122 hp and 250 torques will be an option, as well as a direct-injected gasoline engine. True, it's not a Ford F-450 Super Duty. But then again, what is? And really, if hauling a couple of jet skis or a track car are your thing (as opposed to say a yacht), the Amarok could be your truck. If you live in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa or Australia. Predictably we can't get the Argentinian-built Amarok here. But feel free to inflame your trucky jealousy by reading the full press release, after the jump. Hat tips to Carlos and Doug!


Related GalleryVolkswagen Amarok

[Source: Pickuptrucks.com via Argentina Auto Blog]


PRESS RELEASE

Amarok –The Volkswagen Among Pick-Ups Launches

* Amarok sets new standards in 1-tonne pick-up class
* Fuel-efficient TDI engines and three drive concepts
* Active and passive safety at the highest level
* Production and market launch in South America; Europe to follow in 2010

Hannover, December 1, 2009 – With the Amarok, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is now also entering the segment of mid-range pick-ups, representing an annual market volume of two million vehicles worldwide. The Amarok is not only the fourth model series of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand, it is also the first 1-tonne class pick-up to be developed in Germany. The new model unifies the robustness demanded of a pick-up with innovative technology, high safety standards and top values in fuel efficiency, comfort and ergonomics. Production is about ready to begin at our "Pacheco" plant in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Amarok is launching worldwide in a four-door version with "double cab" – a "single cab" will debut in the first half of 2011. Conceptually and stylistically, the Amarok – up to 5.25 meter long – is a pick-up that looks like it came right out of the pages of a stylish copybook. Its body, set upon a ladder frame, clearly reflects properties of the new Volkswagen design DNA. As usual, the emphasis here is on horizontal lines, a clear interplay of surfaces and precision.

Unifying the horizontal headlights and grille into a single design element is a characteristic of the Volkswagen face for the new era. The louvres and decorative trim of the radiator grille are styled with a distinctive love for details. Extending back from the front face is a surface that develops over the fender contour to the side windows and encloses them in an arch. The defined curvatures of the side panels and engine bonnet lend the sculpted Amarok a truck-like stability supported by amply sized wheel housings.

Finally, the VW logo crowns the smooth surface of the tailgate, framed by rear lights whose distinctive signature is a characteristic night design. Even in the styling of the bumper and its form fit to the truck body, the high standards of its designers show through, and this sets the Amarok apart from the competitive field as a genuine Volkswagen with quality and precision.

Cultivated, powerful and efficient:
Robust TDI engines with innovative technology

For the powertrain, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has chosen two reliable, fuel-efficient and clean high-tech turbo-diesels for the pick-up's market launch. The 120 kW / 163 PS strong 2.0 TDI with common rail injection has two-stage bi-turbo turbocharging, which generates a torque of 400 Newton-meters at a low 1,500 rpm. Another four-cylinder TDI with 90 kW / 122 PS will follow as a second engine variant in mid-2010. It has a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry and develops a maximum torque of 340 Newton-meters from 2,000 rpm. Both engines are paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.

In addition to their agile responsiveness, the two engines dazzle with their extremely low – and for the entire market segment pioneering – fuel consumption values. Take the Amarok with switchable all-wheel drive as an example. Even in this 4x4 version, the 122-PS TDI consumes just 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres (equivalent to 199 g/km CO2). In the case of the 163-PS TDI, fuel consumption is also very economical at 7.8 litres (206 g/km CO2). This is the first time an all-wheel drive vehicle has been offered in this class whose CO2 emissions are less than 200 grams. Thanks to its 80-litre tank, the pick-up is also capable of ranges of over 1,000 kilometres! All Amarok pick-ups are equipped with an upshift indicator as well to assist drivers in attaining an economical mode of driving.

Three drive variants:
Dynamic and safe on all roads

For power transfer, three different drive concepts are offered – each tailored for a specific market: full-time all-wheel drive, switchable all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. In the base version, the Amarok has rear-wheel drive. This version is intended for customers who mainly chose the pick-up for its body form and its versatility.

The two all-wheel drive variants are right at home on all terrains. The ideal choice for journeys up hill and down dale is the Amarok 4MOTION with switchable all-wheel drive and a red "4" in its signature. Making its appearance with full-time all-wheel drive and greater comfort is the Amarok 4MOTION with a black "4". It exhibits the same vehicle dynamics advantages offered by all-wheel drive, but for paved roads.

The Amarok with switchable all-wheel drive uses a positive clutch that is practice proven in the pick-up segment. When engaged by the push of a button, it produces rigid power transfer between the axles. For the most difficult jobs, low off-road gearing is also provided, making it easy to take on complicated off-road passages; the truck can even conquer 100 percent gradients with full cargo loading. The progressively tuned heavy-duty spring pack guarantees a high overload safety factor with its three main and two auxiliary spring plates.

The full-time all-wheel drive version is a rarity in its class. The Torsen differential distributes drive forces at a 40:60 ratio to the front and rear axles, and this simultaneously assures both excellent vehicle dynamics and high traction. In addition, selective braking interventions in tough terrain ensure that the wheel with the best traction always gets the most engine power. This drive concept is paired with a chassis that was specially tuned for comfort.

An optional rear differential lock is available for all drive types.

From utility truck to lifestyle pick-up:
Three equipment lines for a wide range of demands

Three equipment lines are available on the Amarok. The base version relies on purely mechanical and extremely robust components – with manual operation of the windows, door locks and mirror adjustment. The front bumper, door handles and mirrors are not painted, making them ideal for heavy duty use. The base version stands on standard 16-inch steel. Other standard features: height-adjustable front seats, variable folding rear bench seat, locking glove compartment and cargo platform lighting. A special feature: antennas integrated in the outside mirrors.

One grade more luxurious is the Amarok Trendline. On this version, the front bumper, door handles and mirror housings are painted in body colour. Window lifts, door locking and mirror adjustment are all electrically operated. In addition, a radio with CD player, climate control (Climatic), multi-functional display, cruise control system and front fog lights are all standard equipment. 16-inch aluminium wheels underscore the truck's strong appearance.

The exclusive Amarok Highline is equipped for enhanced comfort. Building on the Trendline equipment line, the Highline is upgraded by features such as part-chrome mirror housings, various chrome accents outside and inside the vehicle and fender skirt extensions in body colour that create space for 17-inch aluminium wheels. In addition, the top equipment line is characterised by a colour contrasting instrument panel  depending on vehicle configuration , automatic climate control (Climatronic), leather detailing, an even higher end sound system and elegant fabric seat covers.

Besides this wide range of features, an extensive accessories programme is also offered for the Amarok – from a styling bar to running boards, cargo cover and Multi-Connect load securing system (standard from Trendline) and a selection of alloy wheels.

Lots of space for occupants and cargo:
Generously sized interior and widest load space in its class

Interior: The large and ergonomically designed interior, the largest in its class, bears a close resemblance to other Volkswagen models. Easy entry, generous space and lots of headroom characterise the "workplace" behind the steering wheel. These properties and ample legroom for passengers on the rear bench make the Amarok a full-fledged five-seater. When just two persons are aboard, interior storage space can be increased by folding the tall rear seat.

Exterior: The Amarok's cargo area delivers the largest dimensions of its class. On a truck bed height of just 525 millimetres, the cargo area measures 2.52 square meters (1,555 millimetre length, 1,620 millimetre width). But that is not all: Also "Best in class" is the 1,222 millimetre width between wheel wells. For the first time on a mid-size pick-up, it is possible to load Euro pallets sideways, saving on space. Thanks to its large dimensions and a payload capacity of up to 1.15 tonnes, sports equipment like quads and bulky machinery can also be transported. Four tie-down eyes in the corners of the truck bed protect cargo during the drive. In addition, the (optional) "hitch" can handle up to 2.8 tonnes trailer load.

Four airbags, ESP, ASR, ABS and assistance systems:
The Amarok sets standards in its class for safety

Naturally, the Amarok has height-adjustable head restraints and seatbelts at all five of its seating positions. The belts on the front seats are equipped with belt tensioners and are coupled to a visual and acoustic belt warning system. Side curtain airbags for head protection are also available for the driver and front passenger. ABS and ASR are standard features on the Amarok as is the electronic differential lock (EDL). Another standard feature activated by pushbutton is Off-Road ABS, which significantly shortens braking distances on off-road trails and gravel roads. If the optional ESP system is installed, when Offroad-ABS is enabled at vehicle speeds under 30 km/h this also activates Hill Descent Assist. It keeps driving speed constant by selective braking interventions, enabling safe and controlled hill descents. For the first time in this vehicle class, when driving under 30 km/h the driver can individually set the driving speed for the given descent conditions by braking and accelerating.

Furthermore, all vehicles are equipped with ESP plus Hill Hold Assist, which holds the vehicle in place while driving uphill until the driver presses the accelerator pedal enough to prevent rolling back.

Launch in South America; to be followed by Australia and South Africa as well as Europe

Key markets for the Amarok are South America, South Africa and Australia; in these markets pick-ups are some of the most sought after recreational and commercial vehicles, because of their versatility. Thanks to its efficient drive technology and tremendous versatility, the Amarok is also expected to be a trendsetter in the contemporary pick-up class in Europe. Its market launch in South America is scheduled for early 2010, and Europe will follow in the second half of 2010
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