New Volkswagen Amarok Pickup Truck: First Official Photos of Production Model

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Volkswagen has published the first official images and details of the production version of its new pickup model, the Amarok. Designed to compete in the 1-tonne pickup truck segment, the Amarok will be initially available as a four-door double cab version with a single cab model set to follow in 2011. It will be built at VW's plant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with sales set to begin in South America in early 2010 and in Europe during the second half of the year.

The Amarok will also be sold in Australia and South Africa but not in North America - or at least the German firm has no plans to do so at this time.

Featuring a muscular exterior and a passenger-car like interior design, the Amarok's styling has remained virtually unchanged from last year's concept model that premiered at the 2008 Hannover motor show in Germany.

The German automaker said that the Amarok comes with a payload capacity of up to 1.15 tonnes and maximum towing limit of 2.8 tonnes.

It also features a 2.52 m² cargo area that is claimed to have the largest dimensions in its class at 1,555 mm long and 1,620 mm wide, plus a best in class width between the wheelarches of 1,222 mm which, according to VW, means that for the first time on a mid-size pick-up, it is possible to fit Euro pallets sideways.

Under the hood, there's a choice of two 2.0-liter TDI turbo diesel engines producing 163HP and 400Nm (295 lb-ft), and 122HP and 340Nm (251 lb-ft) of torque. Both diesels are Euro 5 compliant and are paired to a 6-speed manual transmission.

The Amarok will be offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive and switchable or permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive. The full time AWD version uses Torsen differential to distribute drive at a 40:60 ratio to the front and rear axles, while a rear differential lock will also be available as an option.

Volkswagen says that even in the 4x4 version, the 122HP TDI consumes just 7.6 lt per 100 km (31 mpg US) while the more powerful 163HP TDI model, 7.8lt/100km (30 mpg US). Combined with an 80-liter fuel tank, the pickup truck is capable of ranges in excess of 1,000 kilometres (620+ miles).

When it goes on sale next year, the Amarok will be available in three different trim levels. Justifying its name, the base version does not feature any electric amenities (everything is mechanically operated) while the front bumper, door handles and mirrors are not painted. This version rides on 16-inch steel wheels.

Moving up to the Trendline, buyers will get painted bumper, door handles and mirror housings, electrically operated windows, door locks and mirrors along with a CD player, climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, multi-functional display, cruise control system and front fog lights.

The range-topping Highline is upgraded with features like chrome mirror housings, various chrome accents inside and out, and fender skirt extensions that create the necessary space for the larger 17-inch alloy wheels. Furthermore, this model gets a color contrasting instrument panel, automatic climate control (Climatronic), leather detailing, a high-end audio system and specific fabric seat covers.

Prices for the new VW Amarok will be confirmed closer to the pick-up truck's launch date.