VOLKSWAGEN’S worst kept secret is finally a reality on our roads, in the form of the rather strangely named AMAROK. Apparently somewhere in the region of the North Pole the name means ‘wolf’ (an indirect reference to Wolfsburg, perhaps?).
This is a bakkie that has moved the whole double-cab class up a rung in a very critical area, that of safety. For the past decade or more, D/C pick-ups have been used as daily drivers by many families, and in the more powerful versions, a vital factor has often been overlooked. When they are driven in normal two-wheel-drive mode, it is all too easy to brake the rear end loose, particularly on wet tar or gravel roads. Volkswagen has addressed this by fitting ESP—an electronic stability programme—that cuts power to the drive wheels and also prevents big tail slides by individually braking wheels and keeping this big bakkie pointed in the desired direction
The Amarok’s build quality and fittings are excellent, and its two-litre, bi-turbo diesel delivers an impressive 120kW and 400Nm of torque. And it has the biggest load bed in its class at the moment. The 90kW version is due in SA soon. Prices range from R316 800 to R390 000.
Text by Stuart Johnston