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Volkswagen serves up some trucking cool forbidden fruit

The midsized Amarok pickup underwent a midcycle refresh, which includes a "high-performance" turbocharged diesel V-6.


One piece of Volkswagen equipment that gets the attention of US enthusiasts is the Amarok, the brand's midsize truck. Yet, thanks to a 25 percent tariff on brandy, potato starch and light-duty trucks (yes, it's really called the chicken tax), it would be ridiculously expensive to import. While that may change in the future, the facelifted Amarok continues to be an object of desire.

Volkswagen's making its midsizer even more appealing with its new facelift. There's a new front end with bi-xenon headlights and LED running lights, new wheels, upgraded brakes and a revised interior with an updated dashboard and new seats.

The meat and potatoes of this facelift is a new engine offering. The truck offers its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 in three different outputs, with the highest producing 221 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. Expected to hit 37 mpg on the European test cycle, the engine mates to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive, part-time all-wheel drive and full-time all-wheel drive are all available, as well.

While it's likely that we won't see the Amarok in the States, never say never. There have been talks to repeal the chicken tax and allow Euro-market trucks to come to the US without a giant price hike. However, as Reuters reports, the US is playing games with automotive trade restrictions as part of its TTIP negotiations, so it very well could fall apart. I'm still holding out hope, though.