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2011-05-19 08:28

BEST OF THE BEST: Local racing legend Sarel van der Merwe thinks the Amarok is South Africa’s best bakkie. Will the famers and artisans of the Republic agree?

VW has shown the single-cab version of its bakkie to the people it hopes will buy into the notion of an Amarok workhorse.

If you like wearing two-tone and wear a John Deere cap as signature headgear, you’ll no doubt have noticed VW’s Amarok display at the recent Nampo harvest day, hosted at Bothaville in North West province.

With 2500 Amarok double-cab models sold since the bakkie launched in September 2010, VW hopes the new single-cab models will increase retail momentum and establish the brand name as a primary rival to Toyota’s Hilux.

With South Africa (according to VW) having the largest single-cab bakkie market in the world (39 938 units sold in 2010), the German auto giant is keen to capture some market share. It will be offering the Amarok two-door in both 90 and 120kW two-litre turbodiesel trim, with those two engine derivatives delivering, perhaps more importantly, 340 and 400Nm of torque respectively.


As with their double-cab brethren, the single-cab Amarok models will drive through a six-speed manual transmission with both 4Motion all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive configurations available. For those who doubt the Amarok's off-road ability in testing conditions, none of the bakkies dispatched to Namibia during 2010 Spirit of Africa finals seemed to have any problems when fitted with 265/65R17 Goodyear Wranglers as a running change...

A crucial consideration for the single-cab bakkie market is load box utility and here the Amarok two-door features heavy-duty suspension components (allowing a 1279kg payload) and its power and drivetrain are geared to tow 2.8 tons.

With 1.22m width between the load box’s wheelarch mouldings, VW says you can easily fit a European-spec pallet in the back, and the 2.2m load box length ensures you won’t often require the obligatory red-handkerchief to be tied to the end of medium length steel bars (or fencing supports) when transporting those in from the town's co-op to your farm...

Like its double-cab siblings, VW’s Amarok single-cab has best-in-class standard fit electro-mechanical driver assistance and safety intervention systems such as anti-lock brakes geared specifically for off-road use, electronic brake force distribution, an electronic differential lock, anti-slip regulation and traction control.

VW will announce pricing for the new Amarok single-cab when it goes on sale during the first week of July 2011. Were you at the Nampo harvest day? Tell us what you thought of the single-cab Amarok in the comment facility...


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