THE Volkswagen Amarok V6 diesel could soon pack a 230kW punch – 50 percent more than its closest workhorse pick-up competitor.
That’s the unofficial hint from Volkswagen top brass, keen to point out the potential of the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel that has just gone on sale as the most powerful diesel-powered off-road ute in its segment.
“The engine can do more than what we offer right now … just look at the application of the engine in other [Volkswagen Group] brands,” said one Volkswagen executive, asking not to be named.
The same basic 3.0-litre V6 diesel is used in various Audis – including the sporty SQ5 – where it produces 230kW and 650Nm. It’s also utilised in Porsches, including the Cayenne (193kW/580Nm).
And Volkswagen executives pointed out that the eight-speed automatic that is part of the V6 package can handle up to 700Nm of torque – well within the current tunes of the engine.
“It’s a very, very strong transmission, very capable,” said Volkswagen Australia technical training manager Kieren Gradidge.
Until the arrival of the Amarok V6 the Holden Colorado boasted the biggest outputs, with 147kW and 500Nm from its 2.8-litre four-cylinder.
Clearly performance is on the minds of Volkswagen executives, who see the Amarok V6 appealing to buyers currently gravitating to SUVs – a market segment with a healthy spread of high performance offerings.
“You are a really an SUV focused market not … and the SUV segment is also helping us because we conquer some customers from the SUV market with this car now, with the [Amarok] V6,” said Volkswagen’s director of international sales, Dr Jan Michel.
Volkswagen Australia director of commercial vehicles, Carlos Santos, says there is room to expand the V6 Amarok family.
“There’s space there to do quite a bit, with both six-cylinder and four-cylinder,” said Santos, hinting at everything from a V6 version of the off-road focused Amarok Core to new specification levels designed to flesh out the Amarok line-up. “There are lots of options open to us.”
Santos also said he would consider the lower output versions of the same engine for more affordable Amaroks, although some quietly question the logic given the way the premium end of the ute market is shifting.
“We’ll start with the high ones … and as we develop … we’ll look at all those options that become available to us over time, definitely,” said Santos.