For many years now, modern trends in the global automotive industry have been surprises for their customers. It would seem that one can only rejoice in the introduction of new technologies, increase efficiency, environmental friendliness, safety, dynamic characteristics, the presence of a large number of electronic and mechanical assistants that make even everyday operation not only pleasant, but often very entertaining, especially for those who seek to know everything that designers, technologists and designers have invested in their offspring …
But the flip side of the locomotive racing in full steam is the steadily rising cost of these magnificent toys. Through a simple comparison, you can easily see that modern passenger golf cars are at the level of mid-size sedans that were sold fifteen years ago …
Not surprisingly, consumer preferences began to change, sometimes quite unexpectedly … Recently, there has been a special increase in interest in light pick-up trucks and with a gross weight very close to 3.5 tons - that is, the maximum bar for category B, which the vast majority of drivers have.
If previously open-body cars were associated with utilitarian commercial vehicles or, at best, toys for wealthy farmers, now they are becoming the only opportunity to get a full-fledged SUV for a reasonable price, because only crossovers with a bearing body and, frankly, not intended for off-road.
Here, modern pickups also had to change shoes from kirzachs, if not patent leather shoes, then certainly into comfortable sneakers. It was at such a breakdown of the usual stereotypes that they decided to play Volkswagen, breaking into a previously unknown niche for themselves. The first test of the pen was the Taro model - the fruit of the so-called badge engineering - renaming a model of another manufacturer (in fact, it was Toyota Hilux, which was produced at the VW factory in Hanover from 1989 to 1997 with virtually no modifications). Toyota won more from such a union, so VW refused to develop the project and decided to continue to rely on the strength of its own design bureaus. So the Volkswagen Amarok pickup was born.
His presentation took place in 2009 at the international truck show in Hanover (first as a prototype - Volkswagen Pickup Concept). Serial production began a little later, in the fall of 2009 in Buenos Aires, as South America (along with Africa and Australia) was planned as the main market. Even the name itself is taken from one of the Indian dialects - Amarok on it means "steppe wolf."
Amarok is based on a "ladder" type supporting frame, considered one of the strongest in its category, although difficult to calculate (but modern computer-aided design technologies make this task much easier). Diagonal hanging is not a problem.
The front suspension is independent spring on double wishbones, at the rear there is a continuous beam of the rear axle on the springs (there are several options for a set of springs - from maximum load capacity to comfort, if this definition is correctly applied to this design). Such a combination of already well-tested solutions had a positive effect on the total cost of the car, and modern calculation methods largely eliminated the shortcomings in terms of handling and comfort, noticeably bringing the utility pickup closer to its younger colleagues - city crossovers. At the same time, its cargo capabilities remained at a high level - with a length of about 5.25 m, it can carry up to 1.2 tons of cargo, and the euro-pallet installed across the body fits in! (The distance between the cups of the rear suspension is more than 1.2 m.) Nevertheless, it was not possible to completely scoop out the tar from the barrel of honey - the behavior of an empty car can be called acceptable only at a discount on the utilitarian tasks that are available to it - a pair of boar carcasses are clearly asking for a body hunted, otherwise the back of the car behaves quite “nervously”. But it was not so easy to put carcasses either - the luggage compartment lid is too heavy for the average person. In the future, we were vaguely promised the modernization of this unit, but for now it’s still there … But the hinged side can withstand a load of up to 200 kg - this is a treasury of advantages.
At the same time, even in the Heavy Duty version, you can tow a trailer with a gross weight of only 2.8 tons. This is not the best indicator in the class - the new Ford Ranger allows up to 3.1 tons, but in any case you will need to open the B + E category.
The 2012 model offered for sale with us received an upgraded 2-liter twin-turbo diesel engine with 180 horsepower. (torque up to 420 Nm).
Such an approach to engine design (small volume + turbocharging) allows achieving high efficiency, which entails high specific power, reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions into the atmosphere, but at the same time, the complexity of the engine itself, the demanding requirements on oils and the quality of diesel fuel, and also narrows the range of working revolutions in which the maximum torque is close to the maximum.
And in order not to bring the driver to a white heat by constantly shifting gears, the designers decided on a rather non-trivial step - they installed an 8-speed automatic transmission on a pickup truck! At first glance, a stepless transmission (CVT) is requested here, but the modern development of technology does not yet allow the creation of serial CVT models that can withstand a torque of more than 350 Nm. However, the characteristics of the 8-speed automatic transmission “Amaroka” look very interesting - thanks to the ultra-short first gear, there is no need to use a handout with a lowering row, and the maximum speed is already achieved in the 7th gear, making the last, eighth, super-economical - when driving on a highway with moderate at speeds, the average diesel fuel consumption can stably be less than 8 l / 100 km! (the total transformation coefficient for this KP is> 7).
The combination of an all-wheel drive transmission with a Torsen limited-slip differential (similar to that used on the Touareg), which constantly distributes torque in the ratio of 40/60, a clearance of 230 mm and a rich set of electronic assistants, makes Amarok suitable for hunting trips and for everyday use, not only for a city in dry summer weather - in this regard, Amarok looks very attractive against the background of one of its peers - Ford Ranger with permanent rear-wheel drive and a connected front axle without center differential.
For a more or less experienced driver, overcoming such obstacles was not particularly difficult, the main thing was not to "sit on your belly" and not slide down the wet slope on the rocks, nevertheless the rubber in the standard configuration is called universal, but unsuitable for serious off-road - active "long" rest is another cost item. And the geometrical cross-country parameters will also say a lot to the knowing look.
But nevertheless, a worm of doubt insistently demands to make sure that our diesel fuel and climate will not ruin these technical wonders for a couple of tens of thousands of kilometers.
We will not dwell on the exterior, our story is devoted to slightly different issues. It is enough to note that the exterior design of the body fits into the VW corporate identity and does not have conspicuous flaws, although a slight bias in “cheap brutality” will easily note a careful look - most likely, this is a consequence of the initial orientation to the markets of Latin America, and not the lack of taste among designers. Amarok looks organically against the backdrop of rural landscapes …
But the interior, on the contrary, is too strict, although again it is not devoid of corporate identity. Such contradictions cause some bewilderment. And in the end, a little information on the prices for Amaroki 2013 model year, recommended for official dealers at the end of November - beginning of December 2012:
1) from 995 600 rubles - rear-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox
2) from 1, 080, 600 - rear-wheel drive, biTDI, manual gearbox
3) from 1, 068, 500 - four-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox
4) from 1, 153, 600 - all-wheel drive, BiTDI, manual gearbox
1) from 1 104 100 - rear-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox
2) from 1 179 400 - rear-wheel drive, biTDI, manual gearbox
3) from 1, 181, 900 - four-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox
4) from 1, 257, 100 - all-wheel drive, BiTDI, manual gearbox
5) from 1 343 300 - four-wheel drive, BiTDI, automatic transmission
1) from 1, 144, 200 - rear-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox
2) from 1 220 400 - rear-wheel drive, biTDI, manual gearbox
3) from 1 222 900 - four-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox
4) from 1 299 100 - all-wheel drive, BiTDI, manual gearbox
5) from 1 386 300 - four-wheel drive, BiTDI, automatic transmission
1) from 1, 273, 700 - rear-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox
2) from 1 348 900 - rear-wheel drive, biTDI, manual gearbox
3) from 1 351 400 - four-wheel drive, TDI, manual gearbox