Power boost on tap

by Andy Bryenton

The Volkswagen Amarok has been a benchmark ute for style as well as a utility since its inception. At the time, people wondered if a German car maker could fully grasp the ethos of the farmers’ and tradies’ working machine as we use it here in the Antipodes. Nevertheless, the makers of the ‘people’s car’ grabbed the concept with both hands, delivering a vehicle with presence as well as practicality.

Now the original four-cylinder engine under that sculpted hood has been swapped out in a transplant operation of epic proportions. Welcome, then, to the 2019 Amarok V6, boasting 268 horsepower, 580 Newton-metres of torque and the ability to deliver all of it to exactly where it’s needed thanks to VW’s tried and tested 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, complete with self-locking points in the drivetrain to deliver almost supernatural grip.

With a ladder chassis, that big engine, huge load capacity and towing capability, you could be mistaken for thinking that Volkswagen has stripped the Amarok down to pure muscle, perhaps eschewing some of the comforts, which made it the ute of choice for those who wanted a bit of luxury with their utility. In fact, they’ve worked hard to make the Amarok v6 an even smoother ride. A prime piece of this puzzle is the servotronic power steering system, which assesses the speed at which the Amarok is travelling and adjusts itself accordingly, for fingertip parking moves and responsive, crisp handling on the open highway.

Between this innovation, a well-sorted suspension set-up and the responsiveness of that turbo-diesel six — with a perfect little boost of power coming right at overtaking speeds — the Amarok’s six-pack has been compared not just to other leading utes on the market, but to VW’s own Golf GTI — at least when it comes to handling. There’s no way the venerable supermini could ever lug as much over the kind of terrain the Amarok dispenses of with ease.
This ute bridges the gap between practical tool and driving pleasure to make a hard day’s work that little bit easier.