TWIN-TURBOCHARGERS, four-wheel drive, and eight-speed automatic transmissions are normally associated with supercars, but in the case of Volkswagen, it's confirmation of how hard they've worked to make the Amarok the new standard for pick-ups worldwide.
The 2013 Amarok is designed for no compromise, on or off the road, whether towing a three-ton trailer or kids in their child seats.
Leading the handsome, but functional exterior is one of the best modern drivetrains around, a two-litre twin-turbo diesel motor rated at 180hp, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, putting 310 lb/ft of torque to all four wheels via Volkswagen's Paris-Dakar Rally winning 4MOTION system. Throw in fuel mileage per tank in the four-figure range and it all equates to a vehicle powerful, fast, efficient, but sedate enough for everyday use.
On the road, the everyday usability and flexibility elements of the Amarok shine through. The engine performance means there's power at any throttle position and a clean pull to redline without the peaky delivery of other diesels. The three-mode transmission shifts gears invisibly, yet still offers the fun of driving when in manual mode.
Four-wheel drive means surefootedness, however, a host of electronic aids ranging from Stability Control (ESP) to Hill Descent Assist do their utmost to bend the laws of physics to the driver's favour. Should any of those laws get broken then the Amarok's built-in safety structure and multiple airbags ensure minimum injuries.
Gone are the rough edges expected from this class of vehicle. The double cab is spacious and well appointed insulating passengers from whatever harsh operating environment they might be in or keeping this relaxing for a night on the town. Advanced ergonomics places all the high-quality controls within easy reach and become familiar in next to no time. Creature comforts are abound with optional leather interior, storage areas aplenty, climate control, and a multi-function radio with steering mounted buttons just to name a few.
The 2013 Volkwagen Amarok is a technological tour-de-force just on paper, but most importantly that technology doesn't go to waste. It's used to make the ownership and operation a relative bargain starting at JA$5.1 million.