The Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate 580, on sale from October, is the new hero in the German marque’s 4x4 dual-cab ute model range. As the name hints, the Ultimate produces 190kW of power (200kW on overboost) and a mighty 580Nm of torque from its turbo diesel V6, with an eight-speed automatic transmission channelling all of that to all four wheels.
These figures eclipse the previous diesel V6 Amarok (165kw/550Nm) and ensure the Volkswagen Amarok continues to reign as the most powerful 4x4 dual-cab ute on the market. Impressively, considering the boost in power and torque, VW is also claiming a slight reduction in fuel consumption (albeit by 0.1L/100km) down to 8.9L/100km.
Meanwhile, the 0-100km/h stat comes in at a very sprightly 7.3 seconds.
With an asking price of $71,990 the Amarok Ultimate 580 is in direct competition with other brands’ top-tier dual-cab utes, including the Ford Ranger Raptor ($74,990), Toyota Hilux Rugged X (auto: $63,690), the just-released Holden Colorado Xtreme ($69,990 drive away) and the soon-to-be-released Mercedes-Benz X-Class X350d (expected to be between $75k and $80k).
In that group, only the Amarok and the Mercedes offer an engine with more than four cylinders.
Besides its powerful V6, the Ultimate 580 (as with all Volkswagen Amarok models) differs from competitors in its class by offering constant four-wheel drive for optimum traction, rather than a part-time 4x4 system that can only be shifted to full-time 4WD on broken (read: dirt) surfaces. The X350d will also adopt a permanent 4WD drivetrain, but doesn’t arrive locally until December.
And that makes the Amarok the only dual-cab ute with a V6 diesel for now, giving the flagship Amarok a distinct advantage in a market where many still adhere to the old adage of “capacity is king”.
On top of its size advantage is the Amarok’s unique (in this market) ‘overboost’ mode that offers around a 10-second lift in power output when the accelerator pedal goes past 70 per cent of its extension – just in case you do need a wee bit more grunt for overtaking, serious offroading or towing a particularly heavy load.
A more sensible standard feature is the Amarok’s four-wheel disc brakes, sharing this with only two competitors (Ranger Raptor and Mercedes-Benz X-Class).
The Amarok Ultimate 580 also includes some unique styling features, such as 20-inch alloy wheels, 14-way electrically-adjustable seats upholstered in black Nappa leather, black roof lining and a different front grille treatment to other Amarok models. On top of that, there’s also power folding wing mirrors, illuminated stainless steel side steps and a stainless steel sports bar.
Standard safety kit is as per the rest of the Amarok range, and includes all the expected electronic driving and braking aids, as well as driver and passenger front and side airbags. Unfortunately, there are no rear passenger side airbags – a continual down-mark for the Amarok, and one negative way in which it differs from other vehicles in its class.
It does, however, still carry a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The Amarok Ultimate 580 is also accompanied by the Amarok Core V6, a budget-oriented six-cylinder option that develops a still-handy 165kW (180kW on overboost) and 550Nm of peak torque.
It too takes power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic, but is a more utilitarian offering than the Ultimate thanks to hose-down rubber flooring rather than carpet, and hard-wearing cloth upholstery in lieu of leather.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed, however Volkswagen Australia says the Core V6 will sit beneath the carry-over Sportline and Highline grades in the Amarok’s six-cylinder range.
- Volkswagen Amarok V6 Core - TBA
- Volkswagen Amarok V6 Sportline - $55,990
- Volkswagen Amarok V6 Highline - $59,990
- Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate 580 - $71,990
- Metallic - $610