Since it was first launched in Australia in 2011, the Amarok has become synonymous with the Volkswagen brand in this country. Now, Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) is getting ready to celebrate its 70,000th Amarok sale.
Initially sold only as a four-cylinder with manual transmission, the Amarok has evolved over time into various V6 automatic models. Today these make up 90 per cent of sales.
And as the company inches ever closer to the 70,000th Amarok rolling out of the showroom, it's also about to launch a new Australian-only Amarok variant – the first 165kW V6 manual.
VGA Director of Commercial Vehicles Ryan Davies said the move was designed to reward hardcore Amarok fans for their years of support as well as "acknowledging that for some, no matter how clever our 8 speed ZF automatic undoubtedly is, there is no substitute for a clutch pedal and a gearstick".
He added: “The Amarok, especially since the introduction of the V6, has become part of the Australian landscape. Its capability on blacktop and dirt alike have been proved time and again. There are some formidable utes out there, but we can claim that none go and stop or generally drive as well as the mighty ‘Rok. And you can fit a full palette between the wheel arches.”
Local Legend: the history of the Amarok in Australia:
2011: The Amarok is launched in Australia with a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel variants and a manual transmission
2012: Amarok auto lands is Australia with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission
2013: A convoy of unmodified Amarok Core automatics cross the Simpson Desert, and the iconic Big Red sand dune, using less than one tank of fuel
2015: A convoy of unmodified Amarok Core automatics make it to Cape York at the top of Australia
2016: Amarok V6 is launched in Australia, in the Highline and Ultimate variants
2017: Amarok V6 range is expanded to the Core and Sportline variants. A team of Volkswagen apprentices build a modified Amarok track car with a standard V6 drivetrain to compete at the World Time Attack Challenge event in Sydney, running an impressive 1:57:01 lap at Eastern Creek and beating the benchmark time set by a Volkswagen Golf GTI
2018: Amarok apprentice race car runs a 2:57:24 lap at Mount Panorama in Bathurst
2019: Volkswagen Australia secures production of Australian-spec manual V6 Amarok, to be launched early 2020
2020: Amarok V6 manual launches, just as Volkswagen Australia sells its 70,000th Amarok vehicle