The Ranger Raptor better watch its back.

An off-road-ready VW Amarok pickup truck could be on the horizon. In an interview with Motoring.com, Nick Reid, Volkswagen Australia’s commercial vehicle marketing and product manager hinted that VW Australia has plenty of room for a Ford Ranger Raptor competitor. With a growing appetite for off-road-ready trucks across the globe it only makes sense for VW to enter this exciting market segment.

The VW Amarok truck is a mainstay on the roads of Australia where mid-sized trucks like this dominate the landscape. Its main competitors include the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, and Nissan Navara. When selling a simple work truck or family-friendly hauler the VW Amarok is a solid product choice for a customer looking for a dependable diesel truck.

Set your sights to off-road performance and the tables quickly turn. Ford offers its dirt-addicted clients the world-famous Ranger Raptor, which combines a heavy-duty suspension with exciting styling and unbeatable brand recognition. Nissan gives their customers the lesser-known Navara Warrior off-road truck and there are rumors of an off-road-focused Toyota Hilux.

This quickly growing market segment could leave VW behind unless they get serious about transforming their Amarok into a genuine off-roader. Even if customers choose a lesser trim level, a halo trim for the Amarok could get more customers in the door and help build up its credibility as a tough truck.

VW is working on a performance version of the Amarok called the W580. After this new model is launched VW will take a long hard look a what it would take to build an Amarok for off-roading. Let’s hope the rumors are true and we see a more off-road focused Amarok take on the likes of Ford Ranger Raptor and attempt to beat the gold standard in off-road capable trucks.  

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