VOLKSWAGEN is ensuring it covers the entire – and always expanding – limits of the 4X4 dual-cab ute market, with the release of the Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate 580 (on sale now).
The German marquee also announced the bush tourer-focused Amarok Core TDV6 is on the way, later in the same month – and at a very competitive price. Both models are backed by a ZF eight-speed auto; for those waiting for a manual TDV6, you will need a little more patience. VW won’t confirm timing, but it will be at least another six-to-nine months before the manual version arrives.
The Ultimate 580 is the new hero in the German marque’s 4x4 dual-cab ute model range and is slightly skewed to the more on-road biased owner, thanks to its massive 20-inch wheels and low-profile tyres. There’s no upsize in the brakes on the 580 so there’s no reason you couldn’t fit the 17- or 18-inch wheels for better off-road-rubber options.
As the name so obviously hints, the Ultimate produces 190kW of power (200kW on overboost) and a mighty 580Nm of torque, backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. These figures eclipse the previous TDV6 model (165kW/550Nm) and ensure the Volkswagen Amarok continues to reign as the most powerful 4x4 dual-cab ute on the market.
Along with all that grunt, VW is claiming a slight reduction in fuel consumption (albeit by 0.1L/100km) down to 8.9L/100km. Win, win, we hear you say?
2018 Ute Test: Amarok V6 Sportline
The Core TDV6 does not get the new uber-engine; instead, it retains the still more-than-ample 165kW/550Nm 3.0TDV6 (backed by an eight-speed auto). The Amarok Core TDV6 comes with more bush-friendly 17-inch alloys, shod with 245/65R17 rubber.
The Core interior will include cloth seating (manual-adjust driver and passenger seats) and an easy-clean/wash-out rubber floor. Rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are standard, as are DRLs and fog lights.
More specs and details are yet to be announced by Volkswagen, but you can expect pricing to be just on, or just below, $50,000. That’s plenty of touring bang for your bucks from a dual-cab ute that we already know packs plenty of punch off-road as well as on it.
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 driveaway) and the incoming Mercedes-Benz X-Class X350d (from $73,270).
As with the rest of the Amarok range, the Ultimate 580 offers constant four-wheel drive for optimum traction, rather than a part-time 4x4 system found on its competitors (barring the Super-Select-equipped Mitsubishi Triton).
At the time of writing, the Amarok is still the only dual-cab ute with a V6 diesel powerplant, providing the Amarok with a distinct advantage in a market that still adheres to the old adage of “capacity is king” in regards to engine size.
On top of its capacity advantage is the Amarok’s unique (in this market) ‘overboost’ mode that – in Layman’s terms – 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.
The Amarok Ultimate 580’s styling features include 20-inch ‘Talca’ alloy wheels, 14-way electric adjust seats wrapped in black Nappa leather, black roof lining and a different front grille treatment. LED daylight-run lights and powerful bi-Xenon headlights round it out. Metallic paint is an additional $610.
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, as with the rest of the Amarok range, there are no passenger side airbags in the Ultimate 580 – a negative for Amarok compared to its class competitors. It does, however, still carry a five-star ANCAP safety rating.