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.
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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.
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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.
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Using body-on-frame construction, the Amarok won't have the best ride or handling, but it will be a good workhorse. Leaf springs are visible behind the wheel.
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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.
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