2017 VW Amarok Rides the Midsize Pickup Concept Trend


By Bruce W. Smith

The gap between a concept vehicle and a production vehicle is often a world apart, and that holds true for the 2017 Volkswagen Amarok expected to debut in the U.S. later this year. The artist renderings shown here reveal a sizzle that likely won't be seen when the midsize pickup truck hits dealer showrooms.

So don't expect this Baja street racer to be for sale. The 2017 Amarok will be far more ho-hum, although it's fun to see that VW designers scoured a Lund International warehouse as inspiration for the Amarok's LazerBack spoiler and faux bolted-on flares.

What these Amarok renditions do convey is a trend we may see growing during the next decade: automakers building midsize pickups on a unibody chassis. That's because they can now do so without sacrificing the utility and functionality sought by pickup buyers who also want carlike comfort and handling.

The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is a good example of getting down to the important aspects of light-duty pickups. It emulates the traditional pickup look, but the unibody is reinforced to handle pickup-type demands. The bed is larger than its midsize competitors, and it can tow a 20-foot boat, a trailer loaded with all-terrain vehicles or a small recreational trailer.

The new Ridgeline is no slouch on power and handles more like a sport sedan then a four-door pickup; its sleek aerodynamics improve fuel efficiency over the previous generation. The U.S. version of the Amarok will be similar to the Ridgeline in many aspects based on what we've seen overseas. Those are the advantages today's unibody pickups bring to the table.

While traditional body-on-frame trucks are perfect for heavier hauling, towing and off-road applications, most car, SUV and crossover owners considering a midsize pickup seldom tow more than 3,500 pounds, and they like all-wheel-drive systems that do everything automatically. Such buyers also like comfort along with pickup utility functions that cars, SUVs and crossovers don't provide.

Whatever the actual Amarok looks like when it hits our shores, we know it will attract a buyers similar to those who buy the new Ridgeline. Who knows, maybe these new lighter-duty pickups will entice a few full-size pickup owners to take a test drive.

Manufacturer illustrations




Look out Gm little twins!! Your companies coming.

This article is bizarre. VW Amarok is BOF, not Unibody. VW is NOT thinking of selling it in the US or Canada as the main engine is Diesel, there is a tiny Gas engine but that is it.

"The updated Volkswagen Amarok will go on sale in Europe and in other markets, including Australia, in the coming months. It still won't be sold in the United States, but sources close to the Wolfsburg-based car maker have recently suggested the next-generation model that's set to arrive before the end of the decade MIGHT be developed with U.S. regulations in mind"

Good news Bad news story.

The Bad news is, the Honda Ridgeline & VW Amarok for 2017/18.

The Good news is, 90% less Gm little twins on the road for 2017/18. LOL

The top 2.0 diesel had great torque and HP, not sure if VW cut some corners though since the competitors needed engines in 2.8-3.2 range to get similar outputs.

That is a good looking mid size truck. Love the aggressive looking square wheel well openings. This thing represents yet another nail in the FORD mid size truck coffin.

That is a good looking mid size truck. Love the aggressive looking square wheel well openings. This thing represents yet another nail in the FORD mid size truck coffin.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | May 16, 2016 4:12:07 PM
Can you read you moron. This is not for the US. Ford has small trucks everywhere except the US. Learn to read.

#GMSRGREAT is a moron

for everyone who couldn't find a Ridgeline to light their fire, this is it.

@ Peanuts : excerpts from the above article:
- 2017 Volkswagen Amarok expected to debut in the U.S. later this year.
-Whatever the actual Amarok looks like when it hits our shores,:

It'll be here in time to drive in that last nail.

If this is an April Fools joke it arrived over six weeks too late. I like any truck or trucklet or anything with a cargo box attached too it, but in light of the recent diesel emissions scandal and the 25% tariff on cargo and utility vehicles I doubt this is going to make it Stateside.

@mark williams
What is your source for this info? Where will this truck be built?

Ford has no mid-size here in the U.S yet so another nail in Fords coffin is just another one of your brainless comments.

Mark Williams did not write the article, whoever did has got a lot wrong. End of the Decade Amarok is going to look a lot different, to the next Amarok, in the illustration

My god, VW? FIAT actually has great quality compared to VW.
No thanks.

It's been dubbed the "diesel dupe". In September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that many VW cars being sold in America had a "defeat device" - or software - in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. The German car giant has since admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

The VW Kraut's can go F$#$ themselves!

"for everyone who couldn't find a Ridgeline to light their fire, this is it."
Posted by: papa jim | May 16, 2016 4:24:15 PM

If someones looking for a truck "light their fire" then the only choice is Ford!




Although a 3 litre Diesel, the small 2 Litre Diesel in the Amarok, pulls similar weights

With a average of 37 mph it would have been nice to see how the Amarok will sell in the US.

405 lb/f sounds also good


QUOTE (The new Ridgeline is no slouch on power and handles more like a sport sedan then a four-door pickup;)

A supposed writer that gets paid to write, using the word "then" when the word "than" should have been used only proves how much our education system sucks when compared to other countries. Am I the only one that is bothered by this poor use of the English language?
If he can't use proper English, he probably can't use proper reporting practices either. No wonder the article stinks so much.

VW, like several other major automakers, has determined that the market in North America for mid-sized trucks is not sufficiently robust to support more mid size product.

The reasons have been discussed here at great length but the key for VW is a question of optimizing the output of their US manufacturing operations in Tennessee.

Their management must feel that sedans and small SUVs make more sense; shipping Amarok from some offshore assembly point raises the Chicken Tax as an obstacle, but the most significant issue for VW is the fact that mid size trucks today sell for the same money as full size trucks and don't offer a dramatic advantage in utility or FE for the user.

The Ridgeline already has this small short term and historically unsuccessful car pretending to be pretend truck market well covered.

IF VW does this (with the unibody) it wont hurt Toy, Nis, or GovM at all.

I recall the re-badged Toyota's called Amarok's last decade in Greece when I visited!

I'm with Robert Ryan.

I've seen nothing to indicate that the Amarok will be available in the US. Although.... if they did, they could really cause GM an issue. I think the Amarok with the 4cyl turbo diesel tows near 10k, has a near 3k bed load limit and pulls 34MPG unloaded for around $38k.

@George. While the 2l tdi works ok, it's plain aweful off road either manual trans. There's no way to make up for the lack of idle torque.

@Mr Knowitall,
Far from it, very good Off Road

Grrrr....just when they start building them in a size I like, they insist of quad cabs. I did less a nicely done Colorado with a real bed and extended cab, in dark green.

As much as I said "never again, GM. Never again" I'm reconsidering.

no good petrol and vw has bad emissions on diesels

I for one would like to see VW trucks back in America every make of car and truck has had recalls. I would like to but one.

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