New Amarok has a clear Volkswagen DNA
New Amarok has a clear Volkswagen DNA

Now that Ford has unveiled the new Ranger, we are turning our attention towards its sister model – the
next Amarok. After the Blue Oval unveiled its new midsize pickup, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has
published revealing design sketches of its utilitarian vehicle ahead of next year's launch. Right from the
start, the German company wishes to point out its truck boasts "clear Volkswagen DNA" rather than
being a Ranger with a VW badge.
That appears to be the case since the Amarok looks substantially different from what we can see,
although we are fairly certain it shares some of the body panels with its Ford twin. To keep the costs
down, the doors are likely shared between the two, and it seems the side mirror caps are also identical.
However, the hood is different, and so are the front fenders, headlights, and front grille.
Much like the Ranger, it has being previewed in a double cab flavor with plastic body cladding around
the wheel arches to emphasize its go-anywhere capabilities. It appears to have an LED light bar at the
front in the same vein as other recent products from the Wolfsburg-based brand. The roof is quite
interesting as aside from the rails with straps to hold two canisters. The Amarok has extra lights we have
not seen on its Ford sibling yet.
We are getting the impression the VW version has more bulging wheel arches than the Ranger, even
than those of the tougher-looking Wildtrak variant, unless the sketch exaggerates some of the details.
An image of the rear is not available for now, although we are expecting the exact same taillight shape
but with different graphics. Needless to say, "Ranger" will not be debossed on the tailgate. There is only
so much you can do with a truck's rear end, so do not expect many significant changes.
For the first time, VW's commercial division is providing a peek inside the cabin where the center
console is dominated by a touchscreen arranged in portrait mode. Where have we seen that before? On
the Ranger off course! There are still some physical controls below the infotainment and these seem to
be different than the Ford’s.
The area between the front seats has been subjected to a few changes since the positioning of the gear
lever for the automatic transmission is different, and the lever itself has been changed. The cup holders
are no longer next to the lever as they are on the Ranger, with VW moving them further back. In
addition, the location of the electronic parking brake and the drive mode selector has been reversed
compared to the Ford.
These little changes add up, making the trucks look substantially different to the untrained eye despite
their similar underpinnings. Expect the same mix of gasoline and diesel engines, including the new V6
diesel launched by Ford in its new Ranger. It is too soon to say whether there will be a gasoline V6
model – potentially called Amarok R – to mirror the already teased Ranger Raptor.
11 years and more than 800,000 vehicles later, the Amarok will switch to the next generation in 2022
and is going to be produced in South Africa and Argentina.