In a rather surprising move, VW has decided to squeeze in a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine in the 2016 Amarok where it will be available in three states of tune: 163 hp / 120 kW, 204 hp / 150 kW, and 224 hp / 165 kW. In the strongest iteration, the unit generates a respectable peak torque of 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) from just 1,500 rpm. It’s considerably more powerful than the previous range-topping engine, the biturbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder which has 180 hp / 420 Nm.

VW will sell the 2016 Amarok in a traditional rear-wheel-drive configuration, but customers will be able to pay more for a 4MOTION setup with rear-wheel drive and an engageable front axle in combination with a manual gearbox. In addition, the pickup truck will also be offered with a permanent all-wheel-drive 4MOTION system featuring a Torsen differential and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

VW’s engineers have also fiddled with the transmissions as the highest gears are now longer to reduce revs and fuel consumption. The top-of-the-line version of the 3.0 TDI V6 with the eight-speed auto is going to consume a combined 7.6 liters / 100 km in the NEDC, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 199 g/km.

Besides the beefier turbodiesel engine and the optimized gearboxes, the 2016 Amarok also gains a new Servotronic steering system as standard in Europe. Go for the 224-hp version and you’ll get new 17-inch disc front / 16-inch rear disc brakes to match the extra punch provided by the V6.

In terms of styling, VW’s workhorse has also gone through some subtle cosmetic revisions, including a body-colored sports bar for the Amarok Aventura which will serve as the launch version in Europe. This one rides on fresh 20-inch alloy wheels and comes generously equipped with bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, along with LED license plate lighting and LED illuminated side sills.

For the cargo compartment, VW has prepared a series of covers, styling bars, hardtops, and cargo area coating to fulfill various needs. The load platform of the four-door Amarok is capable of carrying a Euro-pallet loaded sideways and has a maximum payload capacity of more than 1 ton. VW says that in the future, select versions of the facelifted Amarok will be able to tow up to 3.5 tons.

Stepping inside, the cabin now has a more car-like look and benefits from a redesigned dashboard along with new ergonomic seats. The Aventura version comes as standard with Park Distance Control (with rearview camera) and all of the trims will have Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

The V6-powered version is scheduled to go on sale at the end of September, but initially only the 224-hp configuration will be available, with the other lesser versions joining the range later.

Source: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Gallery: 2016 Volkswagen Amarok

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