Mercedes-Benz gave it a crack with the X-Class utility.

A re-badged, reskinned version of the Nissan Navara, buyers saw right through the

Now, Volkswagen is heading down the same path with the release of its latest Amarok
4×4 ute – a Ford Ranger under the skin.

Amarok sits on the same platform as Ranger, with the same engines and

Designed and conceived in both Germany and Australia, it will be built by Ford at its
South African assembly plant in Silverton as part of a 2019 Ford-VW global alliance
cooperation agreement.

That’s the plan anyway. Whether it works is once again up to buyers – and they’re a
notoriously fickle mob.

The all-new, second-generation Amarok will be offered in five grades — Core, Life,
Style, PanAmericana and Aventura — with a choice of 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, 2.3-
litre turbocharged petrol and a 3.0-litre ‘iconic’ V6 diesel — but not the same iconic six
as before.

And, drum roll, this time around, some models get low range four-wheel drive which
adds a whole new dimension to the proceedings.

Volkswagen credits the design of the vehicle to Gu-Han Kim, Head of VW’s
Commercial Vehicles Design Studio in Melbourne, who headed up the project.

But many others had a finger in the pie, including Dennis Kosik (exterior) and Dominik
Krug (interior), both working under Kim.

Australia is viewed a major market for Amarok and the Australian connection was seen
as essential in the transformation of the Ford.

That’s because utes are big business here these days, now accounting for four of the
top 10 selling spots in the country.

Driving sales has been a fierce rivalry between the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger over
the past few years.

It will be interesting to see what impact if any the arrival of the new Amarok has?

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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