• May 5th 2011 at 11:00AM
  • 32
A team of Volkswagen Amarok trucks bring down a massive chimney – Click above for high-res image gallery

Why use expensive, heavy-machinery when a small fleet of pickup trucks is all you need? One demolition crew in the United Kingdom was prepping to bring down a 154-ton chimney when Volkswagen stepped in and offered up four Amarok trucks to haul down the massive 220-foot tall smoker.

As with any such pull-down-style demolition, engineers were called in to reduce the structure's integrity before letting the trucks have a crack at it. Each Amarok had a 656-foot rope running from its bumper to the top of the chimney. The signal was given and all four trucks let their 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engines go to work. The result? A fallen chimney and a marketing goldmine. See the pics below and the press release after the break for the proof of both.

If you're lucky enough to live in the UK where you can purchase an Amarok, the trucks will be arriving on dealer lots on May 9th. Have your £21,343 (including VAT) ready, or borrow $35,263 from a (very good) friend in the United States.

UPDATE: Volkswagen has released video footage of the Amarok demolition team in action, click past the jump to check it out.

Show full PR text

04/05/11-To mark the launch of its new Amarok pick-up, Volkswagen has today demonstrated the impressive power of its brand new model by using it to demolish a 67 m high steel chimney weighing approximately 140 tonnes and standing at nearly the same height as Westminster Abbey.

The chimney would normally have been demolished using a 40 tonne excavator, but after months of careful planning from structural engineers and demolition experts EDS, the Volkswagen Amarok was given the opportunity to be the first pick-up to attempt such a task.

A series of tests were developed to challenge the power and traction delivered by the Amarok. The structure was prepared using a standard procedure for any 'pull-down' demolition of flame cutting a 'shark's mouth' into the base of the chimney, reducing its structural integrity, though ensuring that it remained free standing.

Four 200m lengths of rope were rigged to the top of the chimney and attached to the towbars of four standard Amarok pick-ups, each with Volkswagen's latest four-cylinder, 2.0-litre TDI engine producing 163 PS of power. For this demonstration they were fitted with a 'quick release' safely mechanism for the towing ropes, ensuring the safety of the stunt drivers in the unlikely event of the structure falling in the wrong direction.

At the chosen time of demolition, the Amarok pick-ups simultaneously, and impressively, pulled the chimney crashing to the ground as part of a planned site demolition project in Reading, Berkshire.

Simon Elliott, Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: 'The new Amarok is packed with power and intelligence, and we wanted to achieve something extraordinary to demonstrate this for its launch. Working with the right experts and taking a scientific approach, by demolishing a 67 metre steel chimney we've shown the maximum strength and power of the Amarok.'

Eldon Stevens from worldwide decommissioning experts EDS was delighted to be part of the dramatic demonstration: 'EDS has a reputation for taking on highly complex demolition projects that really test our engineering abilities, so we were thrilled to work with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to see if the new Amarok could bring down such a vast structure. Thankfully our combined skills were up to the challenge!'

The Volkswagen Amarok is officially launched and in showrooms from Monday 9 May. The Amarok is available as a four door doublecab in three trim levels, with on the road prices starting from £21,343 (inc VAT).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Justin Borntraeger
      • 4 Years Ago
      Come on, Autoblog. The ropes weren't "running from [the] bumper" of each truck. You don't tow anything with a truck's bumper. Maybe I'm way too picky, but I like some measure of fact-checking and attention to detail from my favorite Automotive news source...
      • 4 Years Ago
      A neighbor of mine once tried to pull a tree with his pickup. The tree was leaning towards his house. He hooked it up to near the top of the tree, and cut the trunk with a chainsaw. Unfortunately, the truck wasn't a VW Amarok, and the tree fell on top of the house anyway, sending the truck and its driver for a wild ride.
      Liberto Mex
      • 4 Years Ago
      You can have it here in Mexico too. Grey Market anyone?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thats genius marketing.
      Sgt Beavis
      • 4 Years Ago
      VW is missing out on a lot of money by not marketing that truck in the US.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Strange that they arent selling this thing over here where trucks are all the rage.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Could they be any farther away from the thing? I'm all about safety but....
        • 4 Years Ago
        The distance is so that their pulling force is in the direction that is most effective. If they were closer, the 'down' component of the force vector would have been larger, and the trucks would have had less traction as they pulled harder. I'm not sure if I'm using any terminology exactly correctly here, but take a look at the pics and I think you'll see what I mean. They were at the distance that made sure their pulling power was directed away from the top of the chimney.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It may be good marketing overseas, but here in the U.S. I'm sure the consensus would be something along the lines of "So, it took four little Volkswagens to do what one Ram 3500 / Silverado HD / F-350 could do? Great. Stick to making girls' cars." Just saying...
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        This one competes with models like Ford Ranger or Dodge Dakota...
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Kai F. Lahmann
          exactly and at least in south africa the Amarok blow the door out of every other pick up in its class... cheaper, better on and offroad, safer, more comfortable, better build and better towing and load perfromance
      • 4 Years Ago
      I dont get this ad move by VW... what does it prove? You could probably do this with one Duramax, with a trailer on the back towing 2 Amaroks. lol Weak sauce.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A VW Constellation could do that with a trailer with the Duramax and the 4 Amarok
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lordstown, also known as neanderthaltown... Why GM picked this craphole to build this car is amazing... The whole area is a wasteland of white trash.
      It's not coming to the states because it wouldn't be competitive. At $50k (before taxes and fees) for 163 hp, it's a hard sell. http://www.autoblog.com/2010/04/20/why-its-not-coming-here-vw-amarok-priced-at-35k-in-europe/
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, German price is about 30k€ (including tax) for that version. Comparable Ford Ranger (still a few hp less): 36k€.
        • 4 Years Ago
        don´t fool around with europen prices including tax... in south africa the Amarok is cheaper than Hillux, Ranger and Navara and in test it was better than all in its class and won the "Best Bakkie" (south african for pick up or ute) 2011
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