2022 Volkswagen Amarok: Envisaging A Ford Ranger-Based Truck For America And Beyond

It’s currently one of the most intensely discussed topics in automotive circles: the ongoing partnership talks between Volkswagen and Ford, which include collaborative efforts in the commercial vehicle segment and beyond.

As it stands, both companies would benefit greatly from reduced development costs and better traction in markets where neither do well. Initially commercial vans were thought to be core focus of the discussions, but it has since emerged that the door is open to more product co-development – including mid-size pickup trucks. Colour me intrigued.

The Truck In Question

One vehicle that could really benefit from this co-development strategy is the Amarok mid-size truck. On sale since 2010, VW’s ute is getting rather long in the tooth and due for a major redesign. Coincidentally, so is Ford’s global T6 Ranger (although its re-introduction to North America and a recent, third update for other markets has kept it relatively fresh). In theory, the stars would align quite nicely with both coming up for replacement within the next few years.

European market 2018 Volkswagen Amarok

Like the current T6 Ranger, much of the initial development work would be carried out in Australia, with Volkswagen going down their own path earlier in the piece. So don’t expect a simple rebadge here, but more of a comprehensive makeover like Mercedes-Benz have done with Nissan’s NP300/D23 Navara.

Looks Tough

As for the design, my illustrated design study uses a lot of Atlas Tanoak concept for inspiration. Muscular fenders, staunch proportions and a blunt nose could appeal to those seeking a macho image from a VW truck. The Tanoak’s illuminated LED headlights and grille carryover, whilst the bed is separated from the cabin in typical body-on-frame tradition.

We’d expect some of the current Amarok’s shortcomings to be rectified with the tie-in with Ford. These are namely the cramped rear quarters (especially legroom), suspension tuning and more importantly, the absence of safety equipment like head-protecting side curtain airbags and autonomous emergency braking.

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Concept

Pulling Power

Powertrains are one area where Volkswagen aren’t lacking; the 2.0-litre BiTDI and 3.0-litre V6 TDI are potent enough, then there’s also a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine available. Although, dipping into Ford’s arsenal could give Volkswagen access to the EcoBoost range of engines and the Ford-GM co-developed 10-speed automatic.

The upcoming, eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf will offer a 48-volt mild hybrid system and there’s every chance such a setup could find its way into the Amarok too. This would provide extra low-end shove, whilst reducing fuel consumption and emissions. As part of this package, expect regenerative braking, stop/start tech and decently-sized lithium-ion battery storage.

Target Market

Whilst Australia is currently the Amarok’s biggest market, that could easily change if sales commenced in North America. However, that hinges on whether Volkswagen’s uni-body Tanoak concept becomes green-lighted. If so, such a move to bring the Amarok Stateside would be less likely as it would cannibalize sales.

Rivals and Expected Arrival

A second-generation Amarok will compete against the aforementioned Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Nissan Navara/Frontier, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Tacoma, Renault Alaskan, Mitsubishi Triton/L200, Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max.

If the Ranger-based Amarok gets the go-ahead, expect it to show up within the next three to five years.

That said, what are your thoughts on a Ford-based VW pickup truck? Tell us below.

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

 

  • OdysseyTag

    Certainly wouldn’t mind – the Tanoak is a pretty promising concept to base it off. Overall, a new Amarok is need ASAP. I see them everyday and man are they riddled with last-gen VW design.

    • Mike anonymous

      I will certainly wait as long as needed. As long as it takes for them to get it right. I do know that the CEO of VW stated that the headlights from the concept (that are full width across the grille on the concept) could actually be put onto a production vehicle. So this is something I am looking forward to.

      I am very happy that small trucks in the US market are getting more attention as the market, demand, and need for them is ever-so large.

      • OdysseyTag

        Yep, definitely think it’s a key segment to take advantage of.

  • john1168

    Is the Amarok/next Ranger gonna have an independent rear suspension?

    • Mr_Fanta_Pants

      Hopefully not.

  • Rocket

    Yes, I think a Ranger-based Amarok makes sense here in the US, where unibody pickups typically aren’t considered “real” trucks. Give it a higher MSRP in exchange for a nicer interior and longer warranty, and I think it could do okay. It will never be a high volume model, of course, but I don’t think anybody expects it to be.

  • kachuks

    The ass on this render looks weird, but the rest of the design looks like something US truck buyers would want from a midsize.

    • Rocket

      The ass isn’t a render. It’s the Atlas-based Tanoak concept.

  • Paul

    I think it’s a venture worth taking considering the market. They wont sell tons of them but it would still do OK I think.

  • Warren Trout

    No EV? No buy!

    20th century truck. Get a clue grandpa!

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      You and your buddies can go circle-jerk over photographs of Musk and his EVs. Back in the real world, people will still be buying vehicles with internal-combustion engines for many years to come.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    2022 you say?

    Jeez VW, chill the hell out. It’s not even 2019 yet..

  • Ryan Starks

    Im all for a vw truck as long as ford keeps there engineering out of it. We need tdi powerplants back in the us. It could easily out power any mid size trucks in the us market and have almost twice the fuel milage as well. 💪

  • TheToadPrince..~~ToadSquad

    if this goes on sale in america…nobody is gonna buy a vw ford truck….its the same when vw did a deal with fca with the caravan and routan

  • no25

    “2022” Well, then remind me in 2021. Who cares right now?

  • MarketAndChurch

    That looks really good

  • Bash

    Ok VW, you have my attention now.

  • David De Fortier

    Wow! Looks awesome!

  • sandiegoskip

    This answers a question that nobody except the U.S. VW dealers are asking – a VW Pick up? A “macho” VW? SInce American families began owning more than one car in the 60’s (often a VW Beetle for the wife & kids), VW has been anything but “macho”. This is why U.S. born African American, Hispanic and NRA-type White males would not be caught dead in one – let alone own one. Even with VW motors and engineering, a VW Pick-up makes as much sense as marketing a chainsaw by Victoria Secret…

  • TheBelltower

    No doubt, anything from VW would look better than the braindead design of the Ranger.

  • Beau Thurman
  • The render looks a little disproportionate. I think the grille should look the same as the Atlas.

  • Luis Mello

    Amarok is the best in handling and suspension. I hope keep te same on ranger chassis.

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