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One of the best things about the annual Geneva motor show that kicks off this week is the plethora of weird exotica from the finest European tuning houses on show.

But it’s not all about bespoke supercars for Swiss scions. How about this, the Volkswagen Amarok V8 Passion Desert, developed by German tuning house MTM and manufacturer Dirks?

It’s an off-road version of MTM/Dirks’ previous V8 Amarok model — that’s right, there was already an aftermarket V8 Amarok — fitted with big off-road tyres and massively upgraded brakes. This is not a Volkswagen Group official product

In glorious fashion, the developers throw the regular 2.0-litre TDI diesel away and shoehorn in the VW Group 4.2-litre V8 TDI engine with a much more satisfactory 305kW of power and 930Nm of torque, from 2000rpm.


The familiar eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox transfers the torque all four wheels via the 4Motion system — it’s presumably toughened up for the task.

Apparently, the VW Amarok V8 Passion Desert is capable of a 0-100km/h sprint in six seconds, with the top speed rated at 240km/h depending on the choice of tires. This version rocks 305/50 Cooper off-road tires, mounted on BBS 20-inch alloy wheels.

MTM has upgraded the braking system to 405mm front discs and 356mm at the rear. Upgraded coilover suspension has been fitted, as has a heap of underbody protection. 


Inside, there are lashings of leather and Alcantara upholstery.  The tuning firm has also installed carbon-fibre trim, auxiliary gauges, and an infotainment system with sat-nav and a TV.

But here’s the truly staggering part. According to reports, MTM says that the Amarok V8 Passion Desert will cost you around 200,000 euros, or about $A300,000… Not really a tradie special, then.

But imagine a circa-$80K ‘regular’ Amarok with the V8 TDI engine fitted? Now we’re talking…