First launched in September 2010, the Volkswagen Amarok introduced new benchmarks in efficiency and comfort into the South African Double Cab market. The Amarok raised eyebrows with the initiation of engine downsizing into a ‘brawny’ market segment, but to date, Volkswagen have sold over 7 000 Amaroks, all-powered by the company’s 2.0-litre TDI engine.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine features common rail direct injection with two-stage control bi-turbo charging. Until this week’s release of the update engine, power outputs from the BiTDI were 120 kW at 4 000 r/min and maximum torque of 400 Nm between 1 500 – 2 250 r/min, while the average fuel consumption was 7.9 L/100km. This combination of power and torque has always proved adequate, but somehow the perception has never quite matched. As a result, the Amarok is often shunned in debates centered around power, with the likes of the Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger wielding the most muscle.
Of course it isn’t an ‘apples with apples’ comparison when judging the larger 2.5- and 3.2-litre engines against the Amarok’s smaller 2.0-litre unit, in terms of power or fuel economy, but nevertheless, Volkswagen have seen fit to squeeze a few more kilowatts from their 1 968 cc diesel engine and dull what is an issue of perception.
As such, the BiTDI engine found in the Volkswagen Amarok Double Cab now produces 132 kW at 4 000 r/min, while torque output remains unchanged. The extra 12 kW has been achieved through adjustment to the engine mapping, including the turbos, and has left the class-leading fuel economy untouched. Interestingly, Volkswagen claim acceleration from 0 – 100 km/h has improved by 0.5 seconds to 10.3 seconds for the 4×2 and 10.6 seconds for the 4Motion models. Top speeds of both variants are also improved ever so slightly to 184 km/h and 183 km/h, a 2 km/h improvement respectively.
Volkswagen has also refined the Amarok’s 6-speed manual transmission, having improved the gear linkages and installed a larger master cylinder. The result is a slightly lighter and more linear clutch action, together with less notchy and smoother throws between the gears. Stop/start driving is now less cumbersome than before, while shifting on the move is done without fuss.
Apart from these minor, but noticeable, tweaks to the Amarok drivetrain, the double cab retains all it’s endearing attributes that include superb ride quality, a comfortable and well equipped interior, a generous and practical load area, all of which is wrapped in a tough and stylish exterior.
The Amarok TDI (90 kW) and Amarok TSI (118 kW) diesel and petrol engines remain unchanged across the range, while Amarok single cab models will receive the more powerful 132 kW engine in 2013.
Also scheduled for 2013 is the arrival of an 8-speed automatic transmission for the Highline models. The transmission will be the same ZF item used in the Touareg SUV and Volkswagen say it will provide improved fuel consumption and make better use of available torque; which will also increase slightly from the current 400 Nm to 420 Nm.
|Price (incl. VAT)|
|Volkswagen Amarok D/C 2.0 BiTDI (132kW) Highline||R375 100|
|Volkswagen Amarok D/C 2.0 BiTDI (132kW) Highline 4Motion||R425 300|
Prices include a 3-year/100 000km warranty and 5-year/90 000km service plan.