Is the VW Amarok Truck Heading Stateside?September 23rd, 2015 by David Beran
North American off-roaders who love having options when it comes to their rigs can get frustrated by the different 4x4s that are currently only offered overseas. The shortlist includes the Nissan Patrol, Ford Ranger, Toyota Diesel Land Cruiser and Volkswagen’s Amarok pickup. Europe, Australia, Russia and South America number among the regions where the midsize Amarok is available and there’s speculation that the movement to bring the pickup to North America is gaining traction.
The Amarok is powered by a Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine and hopeful advocates point out that the scarcity of midsize pickup lines in the United States and Canada make it a favorable market to introduce the truck. Earning awards including Off-Road Pickup Truck of the Year in the UK, Germany and Argentina, the closest comparable diesel vehicle here is Nissan’s Titan.
The Amarok has two engine options and choose-able or permanent four wheel drive. Safety is one of its strong suits and the truck is consistently commended for its wide and durable load bed. One criticism leveled is that the suspension system is designed for heavy loads in the bed, so when the bed is empty it tends to get bouncy.
The main complaint off-road enthusiasts have about the domestic midsize truck market is that available 4x4s are too much like cars and underperform in off-road conditions requiring sufficient torque and all-terrain tires. In recent years, utilitarian models are few and far between in the States and the Amarok could fill the need for a rugged workhorse. “The Amarok’s appeal is that it merges the hallmarks of a family vehicle with a work truck’s capabilities,” says truck owner Chuck Prescott. “In today’s world, the lines between work, play and family are blurring and the Amarok answers the bell.”
Recently, Volkswagen suffered a setback for their diesel emissions dodging scandal. Approximately 11 million VW diesel vehicles sold worldwide house Type EA 189, 2-liter engines fitted with software rigged to cheat on standard emissions tests. Although the majority of the vehicles are in Europe, the States have been affected as well. Passats, Golfs, Jettas and Beetles sport the 2-liter engines and the E.P.A. has asked Volkswagen to recall nearly a half-million vehicles sold in America since 2009.
About the Author: David Beran
As a professional inkspiller living in Los Angeles, I’ve written in industries ranging from entertainment to employment to automotive. Terrain I cover includes off-road events and races, budget builds, custom mods, EVs and the latest innovations in aftermarket 4x4 parts. I’m always eager to learn about new trends in 4x4s and my motto is “go off-road or go home.” Google+ is the destination for my dispatches: https://plus.google.com/+DavidBeran/posts.