Volkswagen Amarok used to demolish massive chimney in place of wrecking ball

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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.

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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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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