Before the more powerful Amarok TDI580 V6 even arrives, Volkswagen is planning a special edition for Australia to take on the recent influx of kitted up dual-cab utes like the Ford Ranger Raptor and HSV Colorado Sportscat.
The TDI580 will house a more powerful 190kW (200kw on overboost) and 580Nm version of its 3.0-litre V6 diesel turbo that's a hair more powerful than the upcoming Mercedes-Benz X-Class x350d.
But first it says we’ll probably see a track-focused battleship show car to eclipse the Amarok 550 that was built for the World Time Attack Challenge.
“The racing drivers who drive it [the 550] for us say they can’t get enough of it and they say the package with the 550Nm is outstanding, so we’re looking at doing a new one at the end of the year to announce the 580 based on the 580TDI,” VW commercial vehicle marketing manager Nicholas Reid told Drive.
That might then spawn a special edition 580 which the original time attack car didn’t, and it’d be the only model among the top-end play hard, work hard crowd to house a powerful V6 motor.
“Yeah definitely, we are looking at a local special edition and I think the 580 gives us flexibility to do that,”
“Our advantage is really in our powerplant and that does the talking for us. Our owners that buy the V6 know we don’t need the bling, it isn’t necessary, it's what’s at the heart of the Amarok that’s important.”
“[There’s] no handling changes, it’ll be the same package underneath and still the benchmark for driveability - it’s a grand tourer if you want it to be or a capable off roader taking to Cape York or the Simpson Desert if you want to.”
The model would form part of Volkswagen’s expanding V6 family which it’s confident will notch 80 per cent of its ute sales by the end of the year. Volkswagen sold 1250 Amarok utes last month, up from 909 units in May. It’s V6 engine is currently a unique selling point but is under fire from incoming German maker Mercedes-Benz and its new X-Class x350d V6.
“We wanted to solidify our place as the power leader in the segment and that wasn’t just a decision we made here it was a global decision and the day we launched the V6 there was obviously demand for more power and we were lucky to be one of the first markets to get the V6,” said Reid.
However, VW says its other new V6 model, an upcoming Core model geared to practical use, will cement the V6 entry-level market but at a price over $50,000.
“We’re trying to position it in the low 50s and we’re pretty confident we will. That will allow us to attract a new type of customer and expand the reach of the Amarok, at the moment we’re trying to attract a younger buyer to the market.
“At the moment we have huge demand and we hear through customer feedback and at shows they want vinyl floors as a hose out solution and Queensland’s a great example - there is a beach culture and vinyl floors are something they want, and they want that with a V6.”