Volkswagen announces Amarok V6 TDI580 Ultimate
Volkswagen has set a new benchmark among the one-tonne mid-size ute brigade, launching a more powerful version of its Amarok V6 diesel engine that sees the German brand maintain bragging rights over newcomers such as the Mercedes-Benz X-Class X350d.
Available only in top-spec Ultimate guise for the time being, the new TDI580 4×4 twin cab has emerged with a revised version of VW’s 3.0L 24-valve turbo-diesel engine that produces 190kW of power from 3,250-4,500rpm and 580Nm of torque from 1,400-3,000rpm – up 25kW/30Nm over the continuing TDI550.
What’s more, Volkswagen says maximum power of 200kW is available from 3,500-4,000rpm via the temporary overboost function, which is a 10kW improvement over the TDI550 and kicks in for up to 10 seconds between 50km/h and 120km/h.
For this to occur, the standard-fit ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission must be in either third or fourth gear, and the driver needs to have depressed the accelerator by at least 70%.
From a standing start, the TDI580 Ultimate can sprint from 0-100km/h in a claimed 7.3 seconds – 0.6s quicker than the 550 and enough to keep its nose in front of the Mercedes X350d, its chief rival which can complete the task in 7.5s with its own 190kW/550Nm 3.0L V6 diesel.
This is a fair effort for the big VW ute, which drives all four wheels on a permanent basis, tips the scales at 2,244kg and maintains a good fuel economy figure on the official combined test cycle (city/country), returning 8.9L per 100km from its 80L fuel tank. The engine is rated to the Euro 6 emissions standard while the TDI550 is compliant with Euro 5 and returns 9.0L/100km – the same consumption figure for the Benz X350d.
The new Amarok TDI580 Ultimate doesn’t come cheap, pushing the nameplate up past $70K for the first time with pricing that starts at $71,990 before on-road costs are factored in.
There is, naturally, a high level of equipment to justify the price tag, and few options, the main one being $610 for metallic paint.
The Ultimate grade brings with it 20” ‘Talca’ alloy wheels, a unique front bumper design, durable cargo area lining, stainless-steel side steps (with LED lighting) and a ‘long-design’ sports bar, while other exterior features of note include bi-Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights with a cornering function and, assisting the driver, a rear-view camera, front/rear parking sensors and tyre pressure monitoring system.
As with all Amarok V6 variants, four-wheel disc brakes are fitted, along with ABS brakes (with off-road programming, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist), a mechanical rear differential lock, electronic stability and traction control, hill holder system, hill descent control, an active rollover prevention system, trailer sway stability control (when the towbar wiring kit is installed) and front and side airbag protection for the driver and front passenger.
Interior highlights on the Ultimate include Nappa leather seat upholstery, ‘ergoComfort’ heated front seats (with 14-way electric adjustment for the driver), a premium multi-function colour display in the instrument binnacle, high-grade 6.5” touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, leather-clad multi-function steering wheel, transmission paddle shifters, alloy sports pedals, black headlining and pillar trim, tailored carpet mats and dual-zone climate-control air conditioning.
Maximum braked towing capacity remains at 3,500kg, while payload is not quite at the 1t mark – 836kg. Gross combination mass is 6,000kg and GVM 3,080kg.
The Amarok sits on a ladder-frame chassis and uses double wishbones with anti-roll bar at the front suspension and a ‘multi-layered’ solid axle with heavy duty springs at the rear.
The tray measures 1,555mm long, 1,620mm wide (1,222mm between the wheel arches) and 508mm from tub floor to sill.