Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Walkinshaw Performance set to continue Volkswagen Amarok upgrades with new 2022 Ford Ranger-based model - but will it have a Raptor equivalent?

The W580 S is one of the three Amarok programs Walkinshaw Group and Volkswagen have collaborated on so far.

HSV might be no more, but its sister company, Walkinshaw Performance, is still in the business of modifying existing models, as evidenced by the success that has been its recent Volkswagen Amarok programs. And the good news is even with an all-new version on the horizon, they’re likely to continue.

Speaking to CarsGuide, Walkinshaw Performance's general manager, Rick Perchold, indicated the company could continue to work with Volkswagen Australia on Amarok programs when the model switches to its new underpinnings based on the next-generation Ford Ranger in 2023.

“As Volkswagen itself further develops whatever platform they choose to work with, we’ll work in conjunction with that,” he said.

With CarsGuide understanding VW will miss out on a factory equivalent of the Ranger Raptor off-road performance hero, Mr Perchold suggested Walkinshaw Performance could focus on taking the next Amarok to the next level on-road, like parent company Walkinshaw Group's current factory-approved W580 and W580 S programs.

“The majority of these people look at the on-road capability as well as off-road, but let’s face it, most consumers out there spend a lot of their time – probably 80 per cent of it – driving on-road, so that’s why we look at that point,” he said.

“But with the W580 X, it is geared a little bit more towards that off-road look and functionality. And we are looking at expanding a few more accessories or products into that category, as well.”

Mr Perchold added Walkinshaw Performance could go further than the previous Amarok programs with the all-new model, potentially including engine upgrades for the first time, but further work would be required due to the warranty implications.

“It can be limitless,” he said. “But from our point of view, again, we like to work with the manufacturers and work on our side to cater for that peace of mind for the consumer.

The W580 X is the closest the Volkswagen Amarok has come yet to the Ford Ranger Raptor. The W580 X is the closest the Volkswagen Amarok has come yet to the Ford Ranger Raptor.

“And what I mean by that is, typically, Walkinshaw Performance itself would maintain a three-year, or the balance of a new-car warranty or 100,000km, depending on when those accessories or modifications are fitted to the vehicle.

“W580 in itself is a totally different program, which is done direct through WAG [Walkinshaw Group]. But we always need to keep that in mind.”

CarsGuide understands a few other brands without performance-focused utes, be they mid-size or full-size, have been in contact with Walkinshaw Group after seeing the success of the Amarok W580 program, so stay tuned as more factory-approved collaborations are in the pipeline.

The Trailrider 2 was the first LDV T60 grade to get tuned by Walkinshaw Group. The Trailrider 2 was the first LDV T60 grade to get tuned by Walkinshaw Group.

One of those brands is all but confirmed to be LDV, which had previously collaborated with Walkinshaw Performance on a local suspension tune for the T60 mid-size ute.

Asked if Walkinshaw Performance is looking to expand its LDV partnership, Mr Perchold said: “As they further expand their product portfolio out there, in turn, we will cater for that.

“So, there might be newer models that they want to introduce into the Australian domestic market here, and we’ll facilitate that for them.”