Before the 3.0-litre double-cab, VW showed its intentions with a very special Amarok V6 bakkie.
It has been ten years of Amarok, and with VW having teased the next-generation of its full-size bakkie earlier this month, we thought it fitting to ponder the best Amarok of all.
Amarok double-cab has been a tremendous success for VW. There is no question that its V6 double-cab sets the standard for leisure bakkies in South Africa, especially those which deputise as highway cruising family vehicles.
But we tend to forget the single-cab cab Amarok, which was discontinued locally in 2017, due to lagging demand. When you start rummaging through the archive of VW single-cab concept vehicles, you'll rediscover an Amarok which very accurately predicted where the double-cab's development would peak today, many years ago.
The bakkie in question is, of course, the 2013 Amarok Power Pickup. Built to demonstrate how radical and adaptable the Amarok platform could be, it debuted at the famous VW festival, hosted on the shores of Lake Wörthersee, in Austria.
Even seven years later, this bakkie still has terrific presence, showing that Amarok's fundamental design and styling proportions have aged excellently. It also showed that 22-inch wheels would fit in the Amarok's wheel arches, even with the Power Pickup's 80mm lower ride height.
The Power Pickup also conclusively proved that an Audi 3-litre V6 turbodiesel could be homed above the Amarok's front axle, much the delight of bakkie fans.
Although it would be four more years before the double-cab Amarok V6 would go on sale, VW's Power Pickup was a teaser of its eventual potential, packaging a potent 200kW version of the VAG 3.0 TDI in a single-cab body.
Could a V6 Amarok single-cab have worked?
Would the V6 powered single-cab Amarok, with its much lower centre-of-gravity and Golf R type bucket seats, have worked as a commercial project? German product planners obviously thought not, but Australian and South African customers would have liked to disagree.
If we consider the comfortable niche that Amarok now occupies, as the only V6-powered double-cab turbodiesel bakkie, VW could possibly have risked a bit with a production version of Power Pickup. The market was certainly there.
Which market? Well, the Lumina bakkie market. General Motors had conclusively shown that Australian and South African bakkie buyers were willing to sacrifice off-road and even gravel-travel ability, for a vehicle with only two seats, plenty of power, and a vast loadbox.
The Lumina high-performance bakkie range was never produced in huge volumes, due to its premium pricing, but they did have a very loyal following. VW could possibly have capitalised on that, as General Motors abandoned the Lumina in 2013, just as the Power Pickup was revealed.
Although Chevrolet's right-hand drive vehicle business has collapsed, that does not mean customers who pined for Lumina bakkies have disappeared. In Australia and South Africa, where the Lumina was popular, VW has established a credible brand presence with Amarok double-cab. At a push, any production version of the Power Pickup could have picked-up (literally) where the Lumina departed.
VW's Amarok is toward the end of its lifecycle, with a replacement due in 2022. Wouldn't it be a grand send-off for the first-generation Amarok if VW did a limited run of low-riding V6 single-cabs, rolling 22-inch wheels?