Johannesburg - We’ve already seen the new Ford Ranger and it won’t be long before we get to lay our eyes on the vehicle that it’s donating most of its DNA to: the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok.
Born from a partnership between the two carmakers, the new Amarok will be built alongside its Ranger cousin at Ford’s Silverton plant in Gauteng.
The Volkswagen will share its basic architecture with the new Ford, and almost certainly its engines too, although VW’s commercial design head Albert Johann Kirzinger has previously stated that his team were working hard with the Ford Ranger designers in Australia to ensure that the Amarok felt like a true Volkswagen, and not just a rebadged Ford.
And now we can almost judge that for ourselves, thanks to a new pair of teaser images that show us the front end as well as the interior of the new Volkswagen Amarok.
Although the Vee-Dub will likely share its basic body shape with the Ford, the rendering shows a completely different front end that includes a clamshell bonnet and a headlight and grille design resembling the German carmaker’s latest SUVs.
The picture also shows flared wheel arches, although we’re not sure if that’s simply a normal case of design rendering exaggeration.
The interior rendering shows us inside the new Volkswagen Amarok for the first time ever, and although it appears to share its basic design with the Ranger, including a large vertical screen and digital instrument cluster, many of the trimmings look different, and more colourful for that matter, and we also see piano-like ventilation controls beneath the screen, in place of the Ford’s conventional rotary dials.
Volkswagen is also promising a more extensive range of equipment, with “significantly more” driver assist systems and “innovations that have not been seen before in this segment”. This could very well include the innovative new cargo management systems that we see in the new Ranger.
As mentioned, the engines you find in the new Volkswagen Amarok are expected to be Ford’s units, with the 2.0-litre single- and twin-turbo diesels likely powering most models, and Ford’s new F-150 derived V6 likely motivating the flagship variants.
But will Volkswagen fans warm to an Amarok with Ford DNA? Only time will tell, but if Volkswagen is not too ambitious with the pricing, as Mercedes was with the Navara-based X-Class, then it may just stand a chance of improving the German carmaker’s ranking in the cut-throat bakkie market.