With the current generation Amarok ageing out in the next few years Volkswagen have been eager to find a platform to reduce costs while keeping a ute in the Aussie and European markets. Spy photos have recently been released of a Ranger based ute testing at Ford’s Detroit proving grounds; and a few clues hidden under the camouflage lead us to believe it’s the first glimpses of the 2023 Amarok.
Despite the outgoing Amarok being well received in Australia; it wasn’t quiet as popular as VW would have hoped leading to unsustainable production costs. With Mazda now sharing platforms with the Dmax, Ford was the obvious choice for VW to partner with.
It’s believed the next generation will be essentially a Ranger underneath with a re-skin for Volkswagen design and taste. Expect more conservative styling and premium interior offerings to target their brand. The underpinnings will be all Ford. Ranger test mules have been shown running around both the USA and Australia. V6 turbo-diesel power, disc brakes on all four corners and AWD drivetrains make them a clear cross over for the outgoing Amarok.
Despite the heavy camouflage VW styling cues can still be seen underneath. Horizontal daytime running lights with a smaller profile look to replace the Rangers vertical arrangement. Boxier, squared off wheel arches are also a strong indicator towards Volkswagen; as is the large circular badge in the grille replacing the typical Ford oval. Other subtle changes can be seen with the taillights, rear tail gate handle, and the window profile on the rear door.
Volkswagen have approval to import the current Amarok into Australia until late 2022 so we’re not expecting to see an official launch for at least another 12 months and the new ute in dealers early 2023.