2021 Volkswagen Amarok W580S off-road review

Issues we like

  • Greatest-in-class efficiency
  • 580Nm V6 engine
  • Effectively-sorted suspension

Not a lot

  • Lack of up-to-date security gadgets
  • $80,000 price ticket
  • Displaying its age

Launched in 2010, the Volkswagen Amarok mid-size ute is without doubt one of the older autos in its class and, fairly than investing in an all-new mannequin, VW is partnering with Ford to construct the subsequent Amarok on a platform shared with the 2022 Ranger.

Regardless of its age, the Amarok stays one of many best-driving vehicles on this section, with dynamics that go away all rivals behind, and the choice of a strong V6 diesel engine that does the identical.

Will probably be an actual disgrace to lose the Amarok because it’s a singular car within the class, however we wait with curiosity for the Ford-derived mannequin.

Earlier than that arrives someday late in 2022, Volkswagen Australia has given its grunty Amarok V6 a efficiency improve by teaming with the engineers at Walkinshaw Efficiency to make factor higher. The upgrades made to create the Amarok W580 centre on the suspension and styling, whereas the powertrain stays the top-specification 580Nm model of the three.0-litre V6.

The Walkinshaw-tweaked ute is obtainable in two fashions: the Amarok W580 at $71,990 and the Amarok W580S at $79,990. The autos and equipment are coated by Volkswagen’s full guarantee.

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The Amarok’s V6 engine is already essentially the most highly effective and greatest engine out there within the one-tonne 4×4 ute class, so the workforce determined to go away it alone. That is the top-tune model of the engine that makes 190kW beneath regular operation however ups that to 200kW on overboost, whereas the torque is locked in at 580Nm.

Within the W580, the V6 is simply backed by the eight-speed automated transmission and full-time, single-range 4Motion four-wheel drive system. With a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of seven.3 seconds the Amarok 580 leaves all different manufacturing facility mid-size utes in its mud.

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That is the place the workforce at Walkinshaw actually went to work on the Amarok. The transient was to create a greater GT-style (grand touring) car, and contemplating the platform was already among the best for that, they succeeded in upping the ante.

Whereas the Amarok follows the normal light-truck chassis components of a ladder body with a leaf-sprung dwell axle beneath the again and coiled IFS up entrance, VW made it higher by equipping its ute with a wider stance that improves each journey consolation and dynamics. VW additionally supplied the choice of rear springs that had been optimised for consolation or load carrying relying on the proprietor’s wants.

Walkinshaw widened the Amarok’s monitor even farther by becoming a set of 20mm offset 20×9-inch cast alloy wheels that take the monitor out an additional 46mm, entrance and rear. The wheels put on 275/50 Pirelli Scorpion ATR tyres which in flip take the general diameter up 20mm for a bit of additional journey top that, with coil spacers additionally used, mix for a 50mm whole raise on the entrance.

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Being forged-alloy wheels, they’re light-weight, and the larger wheel and tyre package deal is the same as the usual set-up in order to not have any detriment on dealing with.

New shock absorbers had been developed particularly for the mannequin. The dual-tube design shocks are bigger with bore dimension up from 32 to 35mm and the dampener shaft dimension up from 16 to 18mm. These work wonders to regulate the wheels as they cross uneven and tough terrain, in addition to sustaining a flat and composed journey when cornering.

The Amarok exhibits its age in that it nonetheless has hydraulically assisted energy steering, which isn’t a difficulty; though, it was a bit imprecise on centre at freeway speeds. That would have extra to do with the broader tyres than the rest, and it’s a small gripe on an in any other case wonderful package deal.

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Lots of people are fast to dismiss the Amarok with an auto transmission as an off-road car as a result of it solely has a single-range switch case – no low vary. However the good boffins at VW Business Automobiles tuned the motion of the torque converter in such a method that it by no means actually wants a low vary ratio.

Certain, it’s not preferrred for rock crawling, however in additional than 10 years of testing the car we’ve by no means discovered the single-range auto driveline wanting in any method; and that features some steep Victorian Excessive Nation drives, the place it stayed with the most well-liked dual-range 4×4 utes in the marketplace.

This places the auto Amarok within the distinctive place the place you may be touring it down the freeway at 110km/h, cross the Murray at Tom Groggin and ascend the steep climb as much as Davies Excessive Plain with out having to tug a transfer-case lever, flip a dial or flick a swap. It’s off roading as its easiest.

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Sure, there may be an off-road button which prompts the hill-decent management and off-road-calibrated ABS, and one other for the rear differential lock, however you’d hardly ever want these capabilities for common use.

The Amarok’s chassis works simply in addition to some other mid-size ute off-road in that its wheel journey is ample however not nice, its digital traction management works very properly and the ETC stays energetic on the entrance axle when the rear diff lock is engaged.

The W580 advantages from its 50mm rise in journey top and floor clearance, even when its 20-inch wheels and low-profile tyres are lower than preferrred. The Pirelli ATR tyres are an awesome all-round performer.

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Slip over the side-steps and into the Amarok and that is one other space the place the VW exhibits its age. Acres of unadorned gray plastic cowl the sprint which homes a 6.5-inch AV display screen which appears to be like small by immediately’s requirements. That mentioned, the audio system has Apple and Android connectivity, its personal inbuilt navigation, and it’s easy to function.

The W580S will get power-adjustable heated entrance seats, leather-based trim with Walkinshaw logos embroidered into the entrance headrests, a color multifunction display screen within the gauge binnacle, gear-shift pads on the again of the steering wheel that are extra purposeful than column-mounted paddles, and a correct park brake lever.

There was loads of negativity directed at VW when the Amarok was launched with out airbags within the again for rear seat passengers, and this hasn’t modified through the years. Nor has it been upgraded with the most recent security tech reminiscent of AEB, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure system, or radar cruise.

What you do get by way of security are entrance airbags, ESC, ABS, trailer-sway management, tyre-pressure monitoring, a transparent rear-view digicam, and post-collision braking which slows the car after an accident to scale back the danger of an additional collision.

The Amarok has a wider cabin than a lot of the utes in its class, which makes it one of many extra accommodating and comfy cabins on this grade, and that hasn’t modified.

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The additional width of the Amarok additionally means it is going to take a bigger load than most different one-tonne utes. It’s the solely ute within the class that can take a full-size pallet in between the wheel wells within the cargo tub, and that bathtub is deep as properly. There’s a plastic tub liner within the W580S to guard the steel surfaces and 4 tie-down factors.

Payload of the 580S is 848kg (905kg for the common W580) and towing is the category commonplace 3500kg.

A quoted 258mm of floor clearance is fairly good for this class and the Amarok has all the time had sturdy underbody safety. The wading depth of 500mm is comparatively low, little question hindered by the engine’s air consumption being forward-facing behind the grille.

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The wheel, tyre and suspension tweaks made to the Amarok W580S make factor higher, whereas the worth of styling additions are as much as you. We reckon it appears to be like fairly good however doubt it’s $80K good.

That mentioned, the Amarok’s V6 powertrain is superlative and unrivalled within the ute class, and the suspension tweaks work superbly to regulate that energy and efficiency. There’s no different on this class that may ship that kind of efficiency, so, you would possibly say, that’s the worth you pay for a 200kW V6.

The Ranger Raptor is analogous cash and has a greater suspension once more, however it might’t ship the identical efficiency from its four-cylinder engine. Although the Ford is equally growing old, it feels a extra fashionable car and nonetheless has the security options and know-how that the Amarok is lacking. All of it comes again to what value you’re prepared to pay for that V6 efficiency and driveability.

Issues we like

  • Greatest-in-class efficiency
  • 580Nm V6 engine
  • Effectively-sorted suspension

Not a lot

  • Lack of up-to-date security gadgets
  • $80,000 price ticket
  • Displaying its age


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