Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI
Volkswagen has pumped up its position in the one-tonne ute segment with the launch of a powerful new V6 turbo-diesel engine for the Amarok.
The V6 TDI is currently unique in the market, with Nissan not offering such a powertrain with the new-generation NP300 Navara – the previous D40 series had a Renault-sourced 170kW/550Nm six-shooter for the flagship ST-X 550 but this was retired due to its inability to meet Euro 6 emissions standards – and Mercedes is still about a year away from launching its all-new X-Class, which will include V6 diesel power.
Already in service in various Volkswagen Group passenger vehicles like the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7 SUVs, the Amarok’s diesel is a Euro 6-compliant 3.0-litre unit that delivers 165kW of power from 2500-4500rpm and 550Nm of torque from 2500-4500rpm – figures that can be increased to 180kW/580Nm for short periods of time with an overboost function.
Overboost kicks in when the accelerator is at least 70 per cent of the way to the floor and is only delivered in third or fourth gear (from a minimum 50km/h), hanging in for 10 seconds. It also requires a five-second ‘off time’ before becoming available again.
Volkswagen Group Australia has left the manual gearbox in Europe for now, specifying the V6 diesel with an eight-speed automatic transmission only that can send the circa-2200kg dual cab from 0-100km/h in a claimed 7.9 seconds, and from 80-120km/h in 5.5 seconds in “controlled conditions”. Top speed is limited to 193km/h.
Despite the extra performance, the oil-burning six-pot engine can also return impressive fuel economy of 7.8L/100km on the official combined test cycle.
The V6 is not available on any other body variants, and only a single driveline is available in Australia – permanent 4WD with a Torsen differential. Rear-drive and selectable 4WD options are not part of the local package.
The engine combines with two high-series model grades: the TDI550 Highline priced from $59,990 and the TDI550 Ultimate starting at $67,990, both excluding on-road costs.
Both come packed with creature comforts and safety equipment, and usher in some unique features other than the powertrain including styling revisions, a new instrument panel, upgraded infotainment system (now equipped with features such as App Connect and DAB+ digital radio) and an advanced multi-collision braking system which automatically applies the brakes after a collision to limit the severity of the impact and potentially avoid a multi-car pile-up.
For the extra money, the Ultimate has new 14-way electrically adjustable ‘ergoComfort’ seats for the front occupants, Nappa leather seat upholstery, a colour screen for the multi-function digital display, 3D navigation, steering-mounted gearshift paddles, additional aluminium cabin trim, illuminated side steps, extended sports bar, matt-black ‘Durabed’ tub-liner coating and 19-inch ‘Milford’ alloy wheels (up from 18” rims on Highline).
Payload is 911kg on Highline and 864kg on Ultimate, while both retain a 3000kg braked towing capacity.
VW continues to offer a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel on Amarok, available in three states of tune: 103kW/340Nm (TDI340), 132kW/400Nm (TDI400) and 132kW/420Nm (TDI420). Four-cylinder variants will be revised in 2017 to reflect the exterior, cabin and tech updates in the V6 TDI.