Pumped-up $80K Amarok ute is a ‘GT’ mannequin, tuned by the identical staff behind the HSV GTS-R W1
When you haven’t heard in regards to the 2021 Volkswagen Amarok W580 but, you’ll quickly.
Developed solely for the Aussie ute market by the identical staff liable for the game-changing HSV GTS-R W1 supercar, Walkinshaw Automotive Group, the Volkswagen Amarok W580 goes towards the grain of most factory-backed hard-core utes just like the Ford Ranger Raptor and Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior, favouring a sporty, on-road efficiency tune over off-road functionality.
Priced at $71,990 plus on-road prices for the W580 and $79,990 plus ORCs for the up-spec W580S, Volkswagen’s sports activities ute will roll into showrooms mid-April after the primary batch of 42 units was sold out in five minutes.
And the collaboration between Walkinshaw and Volkswagen will ship Australia’s most dynamic dual-cab one-tonne ute.
That’s the phrase in accordance with Nick Reid, Volkswagen Australia’s industrial automobiles advertising and product supervisor.
“Yeah, I’d say that,” he informed carsales from Walkinshaw’s head workplace in Clayton, Victoria.
“We quickly landed on a proposition the place nobody had actually gone earlier than, which was this GT-inspired ute.”
You possibly can learn all in regards to the upgrades and mods that make the 2021 Volkswagen Amarok W580 wider, more agile and more aggressive here, however the primary modifications contain the fitment of latest shock absorbers in any respect 4 corners, a wider monitor, distinctive 20-inch alloy wheels shod with Pirelli Scorpion ATR tyres (275/50 R20), pumped wheel-arches, a entrance suspension elevate and a brand new front-end design.
“We wish to name that zigging when everybody else is zagging,” stated Reid.
“When everybody’s going off-road we’re simply going to hone our efficiency on-road. In order that’s the temporary to the staff at Walkinshaw they usually’ve delivered a bundle which we imagine does that all the way down to a tee.”
Regardless of all of the modifications, the flagship Volkswagen Amarok dual-cab ute maintains its five-year manufacturing facility guarantee, and the gas economic system score and 3500kg towing capability additionally stay agency.
The engine stays unchanged as effectively, the three.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel punching out 200kW/580Nm, pumping by way of an eight-speed automated transmission and 4MOTION 4×4 system with Torsen differential.
Walkinshaw says it’s going to construct round 1200 automobiles a 12 months, greater than initially anticipated resulting from elevated demand for the jacked-up, corner-carving pick-up truck.
Chassis dynamics tuned by HSV’s finest and brightest
In response to David Kermond, Walkinshaw’s chassis engineer, the crew engaged on the Volkswagen Amarok W580 challenge know a factor or two about tuning car suspension for critically sporty driving.
“Everybody that labored on this program from a suspension standpoint comes from [HSV] GTS-R W1, in order that’s our background. So we actually put that concept again into this automotive and made it a GT-spec automotive. It doesn’t really feel like a truck once you’re pushing it,” he stated.
“It’s very sure-footed, it’s very dynamic in the best way it drives. The donor car permits us to try this as a result of it’s a such platform to start out with and paired with the [V6] engine actually permits us to focus on these traits.”
Kermond defined that the Amarok W580 retains the unique entrance and rear springs however replaces the monotube dampers with a twin-tube damper set-up as a result of it’s simpler to tune and improves sturdiness.
Walkinshaw’s chassis guru stated tyre and wheel set-up had been additionally essential in enhancing the Amarok’s apex-attacking competency.
“The tyres we’ve used, the [Pirelli] ATRs, should not a really heavy off-road tyre, however they’re a lightweight truck sort of compounded tyre. So it could deal with the hundreds but in addition provides us a really, very robust quantity of grip out of the automotive.
“When it comes to the wheel, [we use a] 20×9-inch wheel with a 20mm offset, so we’ve principally widened the wheel and brought that offset and elevated which provides us a a lot wider monitor, which will increase stability and efficiency attributes of the automotive.
“It additionally provides us a way more aggressive stance, so it gave our designers one thing to play with when it comes to the fender flares, to offer it a very aggressive stance.
“We’ve additionally been in a position to enhance issues like steering really feel, the linearity from on-centre to off-centre is absolutely, actually good. It’s very snug to drive on a freeway or a rustic B-road. However the second you get to a good, twisty street, one thing like Lake Mountain or Reefton Spur, the automotive comes alive.
“You possibly can actually push this automotive fairly laborious,” added Kermond, who says the smaller steering wheel makes the drive expertise really feel extra like a sports activities automotive than a standard ute.
“Not solely that, however once you go to a unfastened grime gravel street, the automotive is implausible to drive as effectively. We’ve improved plenty of the understeer traits the automotive had on grime and you’ll actually push the automotive fairly laborious at larger speeds on gravel roads and it’s simply pleasing for the motive force.”
Sounds promising, however we’ll reserve our judgement for the nationwide launch drive within the Snowy Mountains in Could.
Sturdiness testing lined 15,000km
The 2021 Volkswagen Amarok W580 is greater than only a bunch of bolt-on components, in accordance with Volkswagen’s Nick Reid, who outlined an intensive testing regime that permits the model to connect its five-year guarantee to the tricked-up ute.
“To get there it’s not so simple as bolting on elements and pushing it out into visitors. It’s a really difficult and devoted course of,” stated Reid, who outlined the eight-week, 15,000km testing regime that occurred on the AARC proving floor in Anglesea, Victoria.
The W580 was additionally put by way of its paces on a shaker rig and inside a climatic chamber.
Trevor Barallon, Walkinshaw’s chief engineer, defined that the W580 went by way of rigorous sturdiness testing earlier than it was signed off for manufacturing.
“The sturdiness cycle was derived particularly for this program focusing on the elements we designed. The tough monitor occasions focused entrance fascia inserts, suspension dampers, alloy wheels and twin exhaust shops for energy and integrity. On the tough monitor [test] there’s plenty of vibration, it’s actual harsh situations,” he stated.
“It is a full sturdiness take a look at. We go and take a look at and goal the contact factors that we modify. It’s constructed to OEM-level requirements. The validation is on the identical type of roads as a full sturdiness [test] can be run.”
Different exams included an outback 3600km spherical journey with a braked trailer, loaded to most weight, and the repositioned entrance parking sensors within the new-look entrance fascia and even the decals had been examined for sturdiness, as was the paint on the alloy wheels.
Why doesn’t the W580 have extra energy?
Volkswagen and Walkinshaw determined to not improve the ability of the Amarok’s 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine (200kW/580Nm) for a number of causes, together with the truth that the 18-month growth program and the car’s value would have blown out – and the efficiency positive factors would have been marginal.
“One factor we’re very assured in is the bottom car engine. We’re effectively and really above the remainder of the pack in the case of energy and torque,” stated Reid.
“We’re additionally effectively and really above the pack in the case of these issues some folks assume are necessary like 0-100km/h occasions. We’re 0-100 between 7.3 and seven.9 seconds … and most of our opponents are fortunate to be within the nines [9.0sec region].
“We requested that query: what would one other 20kW or 30kW and 50Nm give us? It’d give us 0.2 or 0.3 of a second [faster to 100km/h]. However then with that comes complexity; we’d should get the automotive recertified.
“And there’s plenty of aftermarket tunes on the market for $1000 or $1500 and we’d in the end be in comparison with them however we will’t supply it for that value, as a result of we don’t simply tweak the gas and air combine and let the automotive exit into the market. It’s extra difficult [and expensive].
“We really imagine the bottom car doesn’t want that further energy. In a nutshell, that’s why we didn’t assume extra energy was wanted. We had some chats about it however by no means went down that rabbit gap.”
Maybe most intriguingly is that Volkswagen HQ in Wolfsburg, Germany, is watching the challenge carefully – as are VW’s German engineers on the bottom in Australia who’re at present prepping the all-new, Ford Ranger-based second-generation Volkswagen Amarok for the native market.
Requested if Volkswagen Australia can be sending one in every of its locally-developed Amarok W580 utes to Germany for their very own engineers to examine and consider, Reid merely answered “sure” however declined to supply extra element.
With Australia being the world’s greatest marketplace for V6-powered Amarok utes, Volkswagen is clearly interested by how the native market right here is growing.
Will it spell extra Walkinshaw-tuned Amaroks just like the W580 – and probably different Volkswagens – for Australia in future?
You possibly can financial institution on it.