The special project ute made its appearance at Bathurst as part of the Amarok’s role of official recovery vehicle.
First seen at the World Time Attack Challenge in October last year, the Volkswagen Modern Apprenticeship team-built ute blasted around Eastern Creek in less than two minutes, faster than a time set by VW’s own Golf GTI.
The 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine remains unchanged, producing 165kW and 550Nm in overboost, but the dual-cab has been gutted and stripped, removing plenty of weight. The suspension has also been replaced with a bespoke setup provided by Bilstein which it dubs ‘The Big Bad Wolf’.
Stopping power is improved with AP Racing brakes all-round and the bright orange alloys are clad with Michelin semi-slick tyres for better grip.
As familiar as the racing-inspired ute idea sounds it won't be going into production anytime soon like the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor and Holden Colorado Sportscat by HSV.
The truck was piloted around the 6.213km circuit by Australian racing car driver Renato Loberto, who completed the lap in 2:57.24 – a commendable effort for a high-riding pick-up but far from the current record of 2:01.56 set by Shane van Gisbergen in the 2016 McLaren 650S GT3 race car.
Older steeds such as Allan Moffat’s Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase III have set records at little closer to the Amarok, lapping the mountain in a fastest time of 2:36.5.
The workhorse reached a top speed of 215km/h in eighth gear coming down Conrod Straight before Loberto had to hit the brakes 85m from the Chase.
The driver praised the German ute for its “550Nm of torque that really comes into play coming into Sulman Park [coming up the hill],” before Loberto reaches McPhillamy Park and realises he is “only 30km/h slower than the speeds GT3 race cars go through”.
Watch the full video below of the Amarok pushing around the famous circuit.
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