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Déjà v-ute? Original Volkswagen Amarok lives on with new facelift but with no help from the Ford Ranger

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2025 first-gen Volkswagen Amarok
2025 first-gen Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen has unleashed a sense of Déjà v-ute, giving the original Amarok a facelift.

It is bound for some international markets, despite the ute being replaced by the next-gen model – which was co-developed with the Ford Ranger – across most of the world.

Most, but not all. In South America, the original Amarok is an important model. It is built in Argentina at the vast Pacheco plant, not far from the Buenos Aires.

And we do mean important. According to VW in Argentina, one in three utes sold in the country wear the Amarok badge and some 740,000 units have rolled off the Pacheco production lines since 2009.

The brand is calling this the third-generation (of the original Amarok), and while details are a little thin on the ground, the one image that's been officially released shows a sharp new look. The technology and safety offerings would be expected to be upgraded, too.

What should remain unchanged, though, is the power plant, given the brand says the Amarok's V6 diesel engine elevated the model to "privileged place" when first introduced back in 2016.

"It is a great joy for us to start the production of the new generation of Amarok in our Pacheco Industrial Center," said Marcellus Puig, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group Argentina.

"It is a pride to witness the renewal and growth of our iconic pick-up over these 15 years. This event shows our firm commitment to production and export in the country, betting on the future of the Group and on the development of our brand in Argentina."

In Australia? Well that's business as usual. The Argentinian Amarok has been replaced by the new-gen ute in Australia and that won't be changing anytime soon.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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