If you’re heading to a Portuguese beach this year, then you might see a Volkswagen Amarok with a colorful look and some extra gear. It’s not owned by a local surfer, as it’s actually been tasked with saving lives and is part of a fleet that counts 28 such units of the pickup truck.
Supporting the SeaWatch project of the Portuguese Life Saving Federation, the fleet of Amaroks will be used on the country’s coastline. They’re equipped with special systems for different jobs, from rescue materials to surfboards, spineboards, life jackets, flashlights and emergency lights. Each one also carries a defibrillator and sports bright decals.
“With this support, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is making a significant contribution to safety on Portugal’s beaches”, said SIVA (VW Commercial Vehicles Portugal importer) representative, Joao Carrilho. “The accident rate in the coastal areas of the country is one of the lowest in the world, not least due to the contribution of the Amarok fleet”, he added.
In between them, the pickup trucks are expected to cover nearly 300,000 km (186,411 miles) annually. Powering them is the range-topping 3.0-liter V6 diesel, which puts out 258 PS (254 hp / 189 kW) and 580 Nm (428 lb-ft) of torque. The mill is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission that output to the permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive system.
The SeaWatch project kicked off 8 years ago. Since then the Amaroks have been involved in more than 2,100 missions, saving over 400 lives. Such vehicles are also being used on beaches in Germany.