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All-new Volkswagen Amarok 2023 details emerge: Petrol engine, manual, cab-chassis and more could be coming to Australia!

2023 VW Amarok - more details for new ute!

The 2023 Volkswagen Amarok is set to shake things up in its bit to stand apart from its codeveloped cousin, the 2023 Ford Ranger.

As such, the new-generation VW Amarok ute range is set to give buyers a few different choices when compared to the Ranger that it’s based upon - including the potential for different powertrains and transmission choices.

That’s despite the fact the new Amarok and Ranger were codeveloped alongside each other - and while the Amarok doesn’t share similar body panels or exterior styling features - it means the Aussie expertise that has shaped the new-generation Ford ute will flow through to the new Amarok. In fact, Volkswagen based a design team in Australia to work alongside Ford’s Ranger team to help make the two utes stand apart.

Australia is currently the biggest market in the world for the VW Amarok, so it stands to reason that the brand is hugely invested in making the new Amarok success. It also means the VW brand might have better intel on what people want and/or need from the second-gen pickup.

Some of the differentiating factors, compared with Ranger, could include a five-seat dual-cab pick-up only line-up - though the company’s Aussie arm has stated that it is looking into whether there is space for a two-seat single-cab or four-seat extra-cab version of the Amarok this time around.

VW did offer single-cab versions of Amarok in the initial launch phase of the first-gen ute, both as a cab-chassis and pickup, but the market deemed that double-cab styleside utes were the most successful offering.

Does that mean there won’t be a cab-chassis for the new ute? Not necessarily, as the company has let CarsGuide know it may well offer a cab-chassis version, though it might be reserved for a base-model 2WD single cab. That’s a big TBC, though.

Speaking of grades, you will see five different trim levels for the 2023 Amarok line-up - and while we don’t have any official imagery or footage of the lower spec models as yet, the computer-generated rendering here shows you what you’re likely to see from the base grade version, which will be simply known as Amarok.

This is what the base model Amarok could look like. Image credit: Thanos Pappas. This is what the base model Amarok could look like. Image credit: Thanos Pappas.

And while it will have the telltale base-model elements like vinyl flooring, cloth seats and - unusually for utes these days - unpainted plastic bumpers, it will, unlike the Ranger XL base model, have LED lighting even on the cheapest versions.

Other standard equipment also includes mud flaps front and rear, digital radio, wireless smartphone charger, tyre pressure monitoring, cargo-box lighting and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Above the base Amarok grade will be the Life and Style trim levels, adding bigger wheels (to the Style, at least which scores 18-inch wheels), body-colour bumpers, leather interior appointments and carpet floors - but the Life will at least remain slightly more work-focused like the old Sportline version.

The Style, which replaces the old Highline, scores Matrix LED headlights, a bed liner, stainless steel sports bar, power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, and more.

Then there’ll be a pair of more eye-catching flagship variants, known as Aventura and Panamericana.

Those are the ones you primarily see in the video above - the blue ute, which has more of a Ranger Wildtrak bent to it, is the Aventura. It rides on 21-inch wheels, has the brand’s matrix LED headlights, and also features a sailplane on the tub, electronic roll top cargo cover and chrome exterior details to help it stand out. 

The other version at the top of the range is more of a rugged take on the top-spec theme, with the Panamericana adopting 18-inch black alloys with all terrain tyres, blacked out exterior highlights including a sports bar for the tub, dark bumper finish and the model-specific stickers on the doors.

Inside, even the lower grade models to be offered with a digital instrument cluster (8.0-inch on Amarok and Life trim lines, 12.0-inch on Style and above) and portrait-style multimedia system, with the entry models fitted with a 10.0-inch screen and the higher-spec versions scoring a bigger 12.0-inch display with sat nav.

Volkswagen will fit an array of safety equipment as standard on all grades, including adaptive cruise control with road sign recognition, lane keeping assist, a reversing camera and parking sensors. And in a big change for the Amarok, the new version scores nine airbags, including rear seat curtain airbag coverage which the last model controversially missed out on.

The tray space or cargo tub (also called cargo box) can fit a Euro pallet in between the arches, and VW claims payload capacity up to 1.16 tonnes. This may be even higher on cab-chassis models, but that detail remains unknown at this stage. The Ranger, for context, has payload capability up to more than 1400kg for base grade cab-chassis utes.

While you could have already guessed the powertrain options will be similar across the Ranger and Amarok, there are a few differences.

The Ranger is exclusively automatic only, but the Amarok will be offered with an entry-level six-speed manual version.

VW Australia will also offer the Amarok with a petrol engine - a 2.3-litre turbo-petrol engine with chunky power and torque outputs - 222kW and 454Nm. Ford isn’t offering that engine here, and no other brand is currently selling a petrol-turbo four-cylinder in the Aussie market - so it’ll stand as a great point of difference.

Of note, the petrol engine is available exclusively on the top-spec Aventura trim, paired with a 10-speed automatic and in 4x4 guise.

Other engine choices confirmed for Australia closely mirror those sold by Blue Oval brand, including a 2.0-litre single turbo-diesel with 125kW and 405Nm, which is paired to a six-speed automatic or manual with the same ratios, and offered solely on the base Amarok. 

Then there’s the 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel which doses up the grunt by about 23 per cent for power and torque to 154kW and 500Nm, and it’ll be auto only. This auto ups the ratios to 10, and is only sold with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system, too available on the Life and Style grades.

And topping the range is the turbo-diesel V6 with 184kW and 600Nm - more torque than has ever been available in any ute with the Amarok badge - and gives it a strong advantage over four-cylinder-only rivals like the D-Max, BT-50, Triton and HiLux.

Of course, VW has had a V6 diesel in its Amarok range for years now, and it has accounted for a staggering 85 per cent of Amarok sales in the final years of the first-gen ute. 

The V6 is offered across three of the five Amarok trim lines available - the Style, PanAmericana and Aventura - and it’ll come standard with a 10-speed auto and all-wheel drive.

Maximum braked towing capacity is up to 3.5 tonnes for diesel models, but the capability of the petrol version remains unknown at this point.

We also don’t know what the official combined cycle fuel consumption will be for the Amarok model range, but the brand has confirmed all models will run an 80-litre fuel tank, and diesels get an almost fifty per cent bigger Adblue tank now, too.

Are you excited to see what the new Amarok offers up when it arrives in Australia in early 2023? Stay tuned for more information - including pricing, full detailed specifications and official imagery of the Amarok grades - as it comes to hand.