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Volkswagen Amarok V6 2019 range to expand

The updated Volkswagen Amarok range sees the Ultimate gain new design treatment, while the Core remains rugged.

The Volkswagen Amarok V6 ute range is set to be expanded to include a new value-focused Core model, which is set to be the first version of the ute sold in the world with a six-speed manual transmission.

The new Core V6 eight-speed automatic model is set to arrive in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2018, bringing the existing 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine to the Core range for the first time. And the six-speed manual transmission will include a low-range transfer case and a rear differential lock will be added early in 2019.

Buyers should expect both the manual and the automatic versions to come in under $50,000 - easily bettering the current entry-point to the V6 Amarok range, the Sportline, which lists at $52,990 with an auto ‘box. 

Being the Core model, it’ll get work (or play) focused elements such as vinyl flooring for easy cleaning, and hard-wearing fabric seat trim. But there’ll still be niceties like a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a reversing camera, too. Volkswagen Australia says the Core V6 model will “meet customer demand with a compelling price point”.

The Core model will run the standard tune for its outputs - meaning 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque. But there’s a new powered-up flagship version with more grunt due in September.

The Amarok Ultimate will be the first model in the range to get the beefed-up 190kW tune, which can stretch to 200kW on overboost (for 10 seconds, in third gear, more than 70 per cent throttle). Torque is tickled to 580Nm, too.

2019 Volkswagen Amarok. (V6 Core variant shown) 2019 Volkswagen Amarok. (V6 Core variant shown)

Volkswagen Australia claims the 0-100km/h sprint time for this updated Ultimate model is just 7.3 seconds, down from 7.9sec, and better than the majority of competitors that have “acceleration in the 10s”. Perhaps more importantly the overtaking performance, or 80-120km/h acceleration, drops for 6.0sec to 5.5.

The engine has new pistons to deal with the enhanced load, and fuel use - while not 100 per cent confirmed - will be “less than 9.0 litres per 100km”.

The drivetrain is set to debut in the Ultimate, but may be offered in the lower-spec Highline and Sportline models at a later date.

The Ultimate will also be offered with a new hero exterior colour, known as 'Peacock', and will also brandish a new silver bash plate. Inside, it gets a new black headlining and pillar trims to accompany the 14-way-adjustable electric driver’s seat and Nappa leather trim. 

Sadly, though, VW won't update the Ultimate - let alone any other model in the Amarok range - with additional safety equipment. That means buyers will still miss out on the best safety tech that's available in the ute market, things like auto emergency braking (standard on Mercedes X-Class, soon to be standard on Ford Ranger in high-spec models), and there are still no rear curtain airbags, either.

As for pricing, there will be news to come closer to the launch. But Volkswagen Australia was eager to to point out that its top-spec Ultimate model will cost "significantly less than for Ford Ranger Raptor", the new flagship model for that brand which bears a $74,990 list price. The current price for the Amarok Ultimate V6 is $68,490.

Is the addition of new Amarok V6 variants enticing? Tell us what you think in the comments below.