At the 2010 Geneva auto show, hybrids and electric vehicles were everywhere, so Volkswagen's Amarok pickup truck stood out as an oddity. This crew cab truck uses a TDI engine and body-on-frame construction.
The Amarok is a new full-size pickup truck from Volkswagen, a surprising launch in an era of electric and hybrid cars. Although shown here in crew cab format, Volkswagen will also offer a two-door standard cab. With the crew cab, the bed measures just a little over 5 feet long and about 5.5 feet wide, with just over 4 feet between the wheel wells.
By U.S. standards, Volkswagen's engine choice for the Amarok, a turbocharged 2-liter diesel, is kind of wimpy. However, this 161-horsepower plant also makes 295 pound-feet of torque and should get excellent fuel economy.
The Amarok will be available as a 4X2, 4X4, or all-wheel-drive. Volkswagen calls its four-wheel-drive technology 4Motion. Amaroks with a red 4 in the label get a locking differential, letting the driver keep power flowing to all four wheels, while a black 4 means a typical all-wheel-drive system that shifts power between front and rear axles as needed.
The cabin looks more practical than plush, and in another sign that this truck is not designed for the U.S., the launch version has a six-speed manual transmission. Next to the shifter are controls for locking the differential and hill descent.