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2023 Volkswagen Amarok detailed: Future Ford Ranger twin being developed in Australia!

Australia will play a critical role in the development of the new Amarok, with a team sent to build the car for our conditions.

At a press briefing in Sydney, Volkswagen Australia were keen to outline what they could about the upcoming Amarok replacement.

As widely publicised, the Amarok won’t actually hit dealers until 2023 and will share its underpinnings with the next-generation Ford Ranger.

However, the German brand revealed a team had been sent to Australia to develop the ute specifically for our conditions and tastes.

“To avoid misconceptions we have sent a dedicated design team from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to Australia to understand your environment better. For the last one-and-a-half years they have been developing with our cooperation partner Ford, this beautiful car,” said Albert-Johann Kirzinger, head of VW Commercial Vehicles design. He spoke via a pre-recorded video.

“We know what our Amarok means to our customers and fans in Australia and that’s why we are working to have a 100 per cent Volkswagen, a true Volkswagen and not only a re-badged Ford.”

The Amarok’s Melbourne-based design team leader, Gu-Han Kim added: “It will be impressive, and a clear member of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles line-up.”

The only official image of the 2023 Amarok so far is this concept sketch. The only official image of the 2023 Amarok so far is this concept sketch.

Ford is the ‘lead partner’ in the efforts to develop the next-generation pick-up for both brands, but it seems its VW partner is conscious of the negative connotations platform sharing or badge engineering can have.

When asked if the Amarok would use a Ford engine or maintain the current ute’s signature 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, the brand’s local managing director, Michael Bartsch wouldn't be drawn to say one way or another.

“We’re not at that level of detail yet, the [new-generation] Amarok is still very much a work in progress," said Mr Bartsch.

“But let me put it this way, we will not make the same mistake Mercedes made with the X-Class and Navara. We made it very clear [to Ford] what the consumer expectation would be.

“Australia is the largest or second-largest Amarok market in the world. We move forward with full confidence that there will be a Ford product and a Volkswagen product.”

There is also the chance that the next-gen Ranger will score the 3.0-litre ‘Power Stroke’ V6 turbo-diesel (186kW/596Nm) available in Ford’s American F-150 range, where it is mated to the familiar 10-speed torque-converter automatic developed in conjunction with General Motors.

Even without the current VW V6, there is a chance that the next Amarok and Ranger could benefit from Ford's international V6 diesel muscle. Even without the current VW V6, there is a chance that the next Amarok and Ranger could benefit from Ford's international V6 diesel muscle.

One could argue the Amarok is now more Australia-focused than ever with the new-generation car being developed here, and the current car having new officially backed Walkinshaw-tweaked editions.

The Amarok receives a mild update for the 2021 model year, with the halo variant Ultimate 580 being replaced by a new Adventura TDI 580 at $72,490 before on-road costs with slight tweaks. Meanwhile two Walkinshaw variants join the line-up covered by VW’s full warranty, in either W580 ($71,990) or W580S guise ($29,990).