THIS week World of Wheels had the opportunity of putting the Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 TDI Trendline 4Motion six-speed manual transmission bakkie through its paces.
And the new 103kW diesel engine bakkie was quite impressive! This two-litre motor develops 340Nm of torque between 1600 and 2250rpm and handles most everyday demands without breaking a sweat.
While not a traffic light to traffic light contender it will get you from standstill to 100km/h in 13.7 seconds, which is quite respectable.
And for those petrolheads interested in the top speed, it is 161km/h. This is really of not much concern though as the Amarok is quite comfortable cruising at the legal limit and should also cope with a trailer or a one-ton load on the back.
Transmitting the 103kW to the road is a six-speed manual transmission via the 4Motion box.
This system has a switchable four-wheel drive which is identified by a red "4" in the badging. This is an ideal vehicle for off-road excursions when the going gets tough, but is equally at home in an urban environment.
It utilises a typical "rigid" system for its four-wheel drive, a system that is practice-proven in the bakkie segment.
When engaged at the press of a button it transfers power equally to both axles. For more difficult terrain a low-ratio transfer case provides very good traction to make even the most severe off-road passages easy to master.
Even inclines with a slope angle of 45 degrees at full payload are no obstacle.
A progressively tuned heavy duty spring package with three main and two auxiliary spring packs, available as an option, ensures a high overload safety factor and uniform comfort in all load situations.
VW's highly advanced TDI engines – all turbo charged direct injection engines – set new standards when it comes to fuel economy and emissions. They give the combined fuel consumption figures of 7.7 litres/100km, which in real world conditions is excellent, but it depends on the driver, conditions, load and a host of other conditions.
The Amarok's active and passive safety systems as well as convenience features match up to passenger car standards yet the bakkie is extremely rugged.
Many of the technologies implemented in the vehicle are being used for the first time in the one-ton bakkie segment.
They include the use of a Bi-Turbo charging system. In terms of its space, load-bed width and height, cargo-loading abilities and payload capacity, the new Amarok is claimed to be "best in class".
Priced at R429800, the Amarok 2.0 TDI Trendline 4Motion six-speed manual transmission may seem expensive, but once driven, one is overwhelmed by the luxurious interior finish and capability of the two-litre engine.
The Amarok comes standard with a three-year/100000km manufacturer's warranty and five-year/90000km automotion service plan.
All models have a six-ear anti- corrosion warranty and 15000km service intervals.