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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Ford V6 and Raptor-esque model looming for next VW Amarok

Ford-sourced V6 in next Amarok could potentially produce more grunt.

Having already assured that the next generation Volkswagen Amarok won’t simply be a rebadged version of the new Ford Ranger, a two new reports from Australia have shed more light on not only the range-topping Amarok V6, but also the rumoured off-road focused Raptor-esque version.

Set to be built alongside the Ranger at the Blue Oval’s Silverton Plant outside Pretoria from next year in the wake of production ending at the General Pacheco plant in Argentina, Australia’s motoring.com.au reports that Wolfsburg’s in-house 190kW/580Nm 3.0 TDI will make way for Ford’s equivalent, as used in the F-150.

Producing 186kW/597Nm, down four kilowatts but up seven Newton Meters, the online publication says the unit, known under the Powerstroke designation in North America, could be reworked for use in the Amarok and Ranger, meaning a possible higher output than the mentioned figures suggest.

Ford Ranger

Ford’s latest special edition Ranger, the XLT based FX4.

Despite confirming a V6, which the publication reports makes up 90% of all Amarok sales Down Under, Volkswagen Australia’s commercial vehicle product manager Nick Reid, when asked about the origin of the engine, said that “whatever engine it ends up with it’ll be awesome, but we can’t really comment on that right now”.

RELATED: Volkswagen assures next Ford Ranger-based Amarok won’t be a rebadged exercise

Along with the Ford-sourced V6, which will be a first for the Ranger since the 4.0-litre bent-six petrol bowed out in 2006, the Amarok is also set to adopt Dearborn’s 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed with General Motors, which at present is the sole transmission mentioned regardless of engine.

As it will be based on the Ranger, whose internal designation reads P703 but with a change in platform name from the current T6 also used by the Everest and Bronco to T7, the Amarok could potentially also drop the entry-level 2.0-litre single and bi-turbo engines for the versions in the Ranger, but nothing has yet been approved.

Volkswagen Amarok

Provided sketch of the next Volkswagen Amarok that will be based on the T7 Ford Ranger.

Unlikely to happen though is a switch to hybrid propulsion using the electrified 2.3 EcoBoost bound for the US-spec Ranger, after Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter confirmed back in 2019 that no immediate plans are in place for a hybrid Amarok.

RELATED: Ford announces “historical high” R15.8bn investment in local Ranger production

In a related story, Reid also spoke about the possibility of an off-road focused Amarok along the lines of the Ranger Raptor, telling motoring.com.au that, “the off-road market is huge and you can’t ignore that. So it’s something that’s at the back of our minds, always. I think there’s still a place for an off-road version.”

His comments come after Germany’s Auto Bild reported last year that Wolfsburg could introduce the first ever Amarok R that will offer the same off-road capability and performance as the Ranger Raptor.

Ford Ranger Raptor

Ford Ranger Raptor

Despite nothing having emerged since then, the R, if approved, will utilise the Powerstroke V6 heading for the flagship Ranger and Ranger Raptor, with the verdict open as to whether it could potentially also offer a petrol engine in the shape 2.7 EcoBoost V6 from the Bronco that will reportedly provide an alternative to the diesel in some markets.

RELATED: Right-hand-drive likely for next generation petrol-powered Ford Ranger Raptor

Even more intriguing is the German publication’s claim that the R will output 221 kW, a claim, which if true, seemingly confirms Motoring’s suspicion that the Powerstroke will be upgraded with more power than that of the F-150. As it stands though, nothing has been set in stone.

With sightings of the Ranger T7 having already taken place in readiness for its global debut this year, expect the same to apply to the Amarok over the coming months leading up to its unveiling.

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