The 2017 Volkswagen Amarok has been unveiled in the form of the new-look – and powered-up – VW Amarok Aventura dual-cab ute.
The so-called "premium pick-up" is set to become the only ute in the segment with a turbo diesel V6 engine, with the new 3.0-litre power unit churning out 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque: up markedly on the most powerful twin-turbo four-cylinder engine currently offered in the Amarok (with 132kW and 420Nm).
The fact it is a V6 means it has bragging rights above the likes of the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50, both of which have five-cylinder powertrains. The rest of the mainstream ute fraternity is powered by four-cylinder engines. It will be offered in three different power output specifications: 120kW, 150kW or 165kW in the top-spec V6 model. Torque figures are yet to be confirmed for the lower-spec engines.
According to VW that top-model V6 engine offers maximum torque at only 1500rpm, meaning it is "thus able to deliver sufficient propulsive power and torque performance in any situation", while the top cog in the six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox is said to be geared to ensure low noise levels and low emissions.
According to VW, the 165kW model with eight-speed auto uses just 7.6 litres per 100 kilometres, and all engines are Euro 6-compliant, meaning they have stop-start technology, too.
The company has confirmed it will offer different drivetrains for different buyer requirements. The entry-level models will likely be offered with rear-wheel-drive and a six-speed manaul gearbox, while there will also be a 4Motion four-wheel-drive variant with a manual transmission and an engagable front axle, and a permanent all-wheel-drive version with eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Towing capability for some V6 diesel Amarok models is said to increase to 3.5 tonnes from the four-cylinder model's 3.0-tonne capacity, bringing it into line with the leading utes in the class.
The company has updated the ute's steering system to its electronic "Servotronic" unit, while the brakes have been upgraded for top-spec 165kW models, with front (17-inch) and rear (16-inch) disc brakes to "ensure that the powerful pickup always comes to a stop quickly and safely".
Further to the big changes under the bonnet, the new model sees changes to the metal and lighting around that area, too.
The Amarok Aventura seen here gets bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, as well as a new grille and revised lower bumper section that brings the Amarok into line with the brand's latest SUV offerings, like the Tiguan. Add to that the facelifted Amarok gets 20-inch wheels, a fairly chunky sports bar and LED-lit side sills.
The company says it has updated the interior, too, with an upgraded dashboard. There are no images of that available yet. We'll update the story when we can.
The V6 versions of the Volkswagen Amarok will be offered from September 2016 in Europe and in other parts of the world. There's no word yet on if the four-cylinder versions of the Amarok will be retained or not, but it seems a safe bet that in lower-spec models a four-cylinder powertrain will continue to be offered.
Volkswagen Australia public relations manager Kurt McGuiness confirmed the new V6 diesel Amarok will be offered locally.
"We do plan to introduce a V6 Amarok to our range when we launch the new Amarok later in the year," McGuiness said. "Local details, specifications and pricing for this variant will be available closer to launch."