VW UPS THE ANTE

RESPONDING to claims made by Mercedes-Benz that its X-Class ute will be the most powerful ute in the segment, Volkswagen will give its V6 TDI Amarok a power and torque upgrade. The Amarok Aventura concept is promising 190kW and an undisclosed increase in torque from its 3.0-litre V6 engine. The same VW V6 already produces 190kW and 580Nm in other Volkswagen Group vehicles such as the Porsche Macan. The V6 TDI Amarok currently makes 180kW (only available on overboost) and 550Nm. The V6 X-Class is claimed to produce 190kW and 550Nm.

There’s no word yet if and when the boosted VW will go on sale, but the Aventura has been used as a top-spec model in the past so we’re expecting it sometime next year, possibly timed to steal some of the X-Class’s thunder.

VW Australia said at the time of the V6 TDI Amarok’s Aus launch that other variants of the V6 would come online in 2018, including a manual version with low-range transfer case, as well as the possibility of lower states of engine tune. Currently, the V6 Amarok is only available with an eight-speed auto and full-time, single-range 4x4. The manual Amarok would be part-time dual-range 4x4.

In Europe, the V6 TDI is also available in 120kW and 150kW guises, and one of these could be employed in an Amarok Core model as an entry level to the V6 range in Australia.

One thing is for sure: the top end of the 4x4 ute class is going to be hot property in 2018, and we can’t wait to drive them.