The next-generation Volkswagen Amarok is set to be developed by Ford and enter production in 2022. Professional Pickup & 4×4 spoke to Ford bosses about the new pickup at the Raptor launch in Morocco (May 2019), who confirmed the VW Amarok 2022 is still around three years from the production stage.
Launched in 2011, the Volkswagen Amarok is VW’s first attempt at a one-tonne, 4×4 pickup truck (the VW Taro of the 1980’s and 1990’s was a rebadged Toyota Hilux). It was a very costly development as there was very little crossover with other products, and the limited market availability (the Amarok isn’t sold in either of the two largest one-tonne pickup markets, Thailand or the US) meant that Volkswagen was struggled to recuperate the costs.
As one Volkswagen boss told us, “our shareholders have never been huge fans of the Amarok”. And this shows; apart from a new engine and new technology, the Amarok’s visual appearance has remained virtually untouched since its launch in 2011. When it came time to develop a new model, the vote was unanimous – they had to find someone else to develop it for them.
In late 2017, Volkswagen approached Ford about the idea of collaborating on commercial vehicles. The two manufacturers are the last not to product share on a large scale for light commercial vehicles and, with rising development costs, it was only a matter of time before this came to an end.
VW Amarok 2022 engine and driveline
The question that everyone will be asking is ‘what engine will it have?’ and the answer is, ‘we’re not quite sure’! As far as we’re aware, the collaboration between Ford and VW only goes as far as the chassis, and therefore its likely Volkswagen will continue to use its own range of engines and transmissions.
Since switching to Audi’s EA897 3.0-litre V6 engine, Volkswagen Amarok sales across Europe have increased almost 40% highlighting a huge demand for larger displacements in the pickup sector. However, with increasing scrutiny on emissions, it remains to be seen whether Volkswagen will keep with this or downsize again to a smaller four-cylinder diesel like the 2.0-litre EA189.
Where will the VW Amarok 2022 be built?
Again, this is another key question to which we have no answer but we can almost say with certainty that the Ranger and Amarok will share the same production lines. Currently the Amarok is built in Hanover (Germany) and Pacheco (Argentina) and the Ranger in Detroit (USA), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Silverton (South Africa) and Rayong (Thailand).
This year, Ford increased capacity at Silverton from 100,000 to 125,000 units while the Amarok’s Hanover factory is running at near full capacity as it is also the home of the more profitable VW Transporter. Shifting Amarok production to South Africa from Germany therefore seems the logical choice for Volkswagen.