It won’t suffer from the woes of badge-engineering.
The tie-up between Volkswagen and Ford will begin bearing its first fruit around the 2022 model year. That’s when the Ford Ranger-based VW Amarok arrives, and the German automaker is adamant the pickup will be able to differentiate itself from its platform-mate. VW Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch told Motoring.com.au that VW would not make “the same mistake” that Mercedes and Nissan made with the one-generation Mercedes X-Class luxury pickup.
It’s unclear if the Amarok will make it to the US; however, it will be sold elsewhere worldwide, including Australia, where the automaker sent a dozen German designers 18 months ago to understand the country’s pickup truck market better. Australia is also where Ford is developing the next-gen Ranger. VW is confident that the Amarok and Ranger will be distinct products, which will extend to their marketing efforts while avoiding the pitfalls of badge-engineered.
Gallery: 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
VW admitted earlier this spring that there wouldn’t be a second-generation Amarok if it weren’t for its partnership with Ford. However, how the VW will differentiate itself from the Ford remains to be seen. Rumors persist the VW will borrow its powertrain from Ford. Motoring is also reporting that the new Ranger will use the existing 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder and a new 3.0-liter V6.
One area that could be difficult to differentiate the two is in the off-road performance arena. VW is rumored to be developing an Amarok R with a four-cylinder diesel offering around 300 horsepower (223 kilowatts). That would put it in a similar league as the Ford Ranger Raptor, which could also come to the US. The Amarok’s design is likely one of the few area where the two pickups will diverge. However, back in September, Ford Australia president Andrew Birkic said he had “no idea” how VW would differentiate its pickup. It looks like we’ll have to wait for their reveals and then compare.