The VW Amarok has established itself as a unique double-cab. In the wake of X-Class being discontinued, VW can rightfully claim to market the world's only premium double-cab bakkie.
With its sophisticated Audi-sourced engine, Amarok is also the world's most potent 3-litre V6 turbodiesel bakkie. Amazingly, it has tallied strong sales for a decade without requiring a major revision – a testament to the correctness of Amarok's original design, launched in 2010.
The current Amarok is deep into its product lifecycle, and a replacement is due by 2022. This will give it a remarkable 12-year total lifespan, something almost unheard of in modern automotive product planning and development.
READ | How Volkswagen’s Amarok changed South Africa's opinion about bakkies
VW's second-generation Amarok will be a vitally important double-cab for the brand's commercial vehicle division, especially with regards to American ambitions.
If you are serious about being in the bakkie business, America remains the most valuable market for double-cabs, and that led VW to sign a development agreement with Ford in 2019. As per this agreement, Ford and VW will be partners in developing a new Amarok and next-generation Ranger.
What do you think of Volkswagen's new-generation Amarok styling based on the image below? Email us.
A very bold design concept
VW has now released its first teaser image of the new Amarok. The design sketch details a boldly proportioned bakkie, with the VW Group's new horizontal-line grille treatment and small headlights. The V-taper grille shape also has traces of Mitsubishi's current Dynamic Shield Triton bakkie design.
Defined ridgelines and a power dome dominate the bonnet profile, which could possibly indicate the presence of some large-capacity engines in VW's planning for Amarok 2.0.
This Amarok design rendering also shows the bakkie with massively flared fenders and enormous wheel arches, shaped to accommodate high-volume off-road specification tyres.
VW isn't willing to venture any technical details relating to the next-generation Amarok, but shared engineering responsibilities between VW and Ford could see some exciting outcomes.
Amarok has traded solidly since offering the 3.0-litre V6 engine option, and an advanced version of that turbodiesel should continue in the new model. American bakkie customers aren't keen on diesel and prefer petrol engines, which has incentivised Ford to develop V6 turbo-petrol solutions of its own for future Rangers.
Ford and VW will likely combine most of their joint R&D budget and engineering resources on perfecting the shared Amarok/Ranger platform and its all-wheel-drive traction systems while continuing with individual legacy turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
With Mercedes-Benz having abandoned is ambitions in the double-cab market, VW no longer has a German rival capable of high-technology feature transfers from passenger vehicles into bakkies. In combination with Ford, which has set impressive standards for active safety systems and Smartphone synching in Ranger, VW could boost technology integrations with its forthcoming Amarok.
An interesting detail of the new Amarok concept sketch is that it features only a single side window, although the cabin is proportionally large enough to be a double-cab. If you look closely, there is a shutline in the cab's metal side profile, indicating two doors. Could this mean that VW is going to build a double-cab with rear-hinged doors, for easier cabin access? Time will tell…