Volkswagen engineers are currently shaking the next Amarok down in Europe

It might not look like it but this is the new Amarok pick-up truck from Volkswagen – and engineers are applying the final touches ahead of its on-sale date later in the year.

Jointly-developed with Ford Motor Company as part of a tie-up between the two automotive giants, the Amarok will have much in common with the Blue Oval’s recently unveiled Ranger.

More technical details of the Amarok – which has been designed in Germany and will be assembled in South Africa – have been released by Volkswagen. Chief amongst these is a wheelbase that’s 175mm longer for “more space in the double cab” version than before.

Other gains include the vehicle’s payload capacity that grows to 1.2 tonnes and can accommodate a single Euro pallet. A 3.5 tonne towing capacity is also said to be “possible across more engine and gearbox variants”.

Shorter bodywork overhangs are claimed to have a “positive effect” on the Amarok’s off-road capability, with the fresh design allowing for a “significantly greater fording depth”.

Available engines include one petrol, a four-cylinder 2-litre turbo diesel and a six-cylinder 3-litre turbo diesel. Rear-wheel-drive, on-demand or permanent all-wheel-drive is dependent on which engine and transmission combination buyers opt for, Volkswagen has said.

Albert Kirzinger – the Head of Design at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – has described the final appearance of the vehicle as “powerful and charismatic”.

Although heavily camouflaged, a clamshell bonnet, horizontal radiator grille with ‘crossbars’ and narrow LED headlights can all be made out. Around the back, LED tail-lights are joined by a reprofiled tail-gate that has the word ‘Amarok’ embossed across it.

Available with 21-inch wheels for the first time, the Amarok will be sold in in five specifications:  entry-level ‘Amarok’ is followed by ‘Life’ and ‘Style’, with the off-road-biased ‘PanAmericana’ and road-friendly ‘Aventura’ topping the range.

Apart from filtered images, no clear interior shots have so far been released, but a heavily digitised cabin comprising a customisable driver instrument binnacle and a tablet-style infotainment display will both make it into production.

“For the new generation we have significantly modified the Amarok’s archetypal design,” said Kirzinger. “It is now unambiguously more expressive and once again appreciably more impressive.”

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