Volkswagen has revealed its first major update for its Amarok utility, and it's a big one. For the 2016 model year VW's high-riding workhorse doesn't just receive a refreshed exterior - it gets a brand new engine, and it's the most muscular one in its class.
Powered by a 165kW/550Nm turbo diesel V6, top-grade Amaroks will boast 33kW more power and 130Nm more torque than the current Amarok's most powerful donk - a twin-turbocharged 2.0 litre diesel inline four.
Two other states of tune will be offered for the V6 as well, with a 120kW entry-level model and a 150kW mid-grade. Torque outputs have yet to be confirmed for the lower-tune V6s.
In 165kW form, the new Amarok's motor also bests every other dual-cab ute currently on sale in Australia. The Ford Ranger and its turbo diesel inline five comes closest with its 147kW and 470Nm outputs, but the Amarok easily muscles it out for the "Most Powerful Ute" crown.
Peak torque is also on tap from just 1500rpm, and the engine will be available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. 2WD and 4WD drivelines will continue to be available, with auto-equipped models receiving a permanent AWD system rather than the manual's more traditional selectable 4WD hardware.
Crucially for many tradies, the Amarok's maximum tow rating will also rise from the current 3000kg to 3500kg, allowing it drag as much cargo as a Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara or Toyota HiLux. Payload in the tub is "more than one tonne".
There's some new sheetmetal and plastics at the Amarok's nose, plus bigger wheels, an all-new dashboard and revised seat cushions for improved comfot. The Euro-spec "Amarok Aventura" model shown here also features a new integrated sports bar, along with bi-xenon headlamps and illuminated side sills.
The Amarok V6 is set to arrive in Australia later this year, with pricing and specifications to be revealed closer to launch.