2023 Volkswagen Amarok: 2.3-litre turbo petrol engine confirmed for Australia


For buyers not keen on diesel power, Volkswagen Australia will offer its new Amarok with the turbocharged petrol heart of Ford’s Focus ST hot hatchback.

Alex Misoyannis


The new 2023 Volkswagen Amarok ute is preparing to help lead a comeback for potent petrol utes in Australia, when it launches early next year with a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.

In a surprise announcement, Volkswagen Australia has confirmed it will offer the new Amarok with a 200kW-plus turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, alongside a range of Ford-sourced four-cylinder and V6 diesel engines.

Shared with a range of Ford models – from the Amarok’s Ford Ranger twin, to a Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch’s chief rival, the Ford Focus ST – the 2.3-litre engine develops 222kW and 452Nm, or 38kW more (but 148Nm less) than the 2023 Amarok’s 3.0-litre diesel V6.

It’s matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive, akin to the V6 diesel.


The new turbo-petrol Volkswagen Amarok will represent just one of three mid-size dual-cab utes with petrol engines: the non-turbo V6 Jeep Gladiator, and the Amarok’s twin under the skin, the twin-turbo V6 Ford Ranger Raptor.

However, fans hoping for a twin-turbo petrol V6-powered Volkswagen Amarok will be disappointed, as Ford has previously ruled out offering VW a version of its Ranger Raptor hero ute, and it appears unlikely the engine will appear on its own in a factory-built Amarok.

The 2.3-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine isn’t available in the Ford Ranger in Australia – but will be offered in Ranger models bound for markets such as the US, where diesel vehicles are niche offerings.

Non-turbo four-cylinder petrol engines are offered as fleet specials in base-model Toyota HiLux and Mitsubishi Triton cab-chassis utes – while buyers looking for a performance-oriented petrol pick-up have previously needed to turn to $100,000 American V8s from Ram and Chevrolet.


Volkswagen Australia may be hoping to attract customers looking for a higher-end dual-cab ute, but don’t want to use the diesel fuel that has come to dominate the pick-up market.

Diesel accounted for 92.5 per cent of utes and vans sold last year – up from 76 per cent a decade earlier, and the minority of sales (49 per cent) in 2006.

Alongside the turbo-petrol engine, Volkswagen Australia will offer three diesel engines: a 184kW/600Nm 3.0-litre single-turbo V6, 154kW/500Nm 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder, and a 125kW/405Nm 2.0-litre single-turbo four-cylinder.

A 10-speed automatic and permanent all-wheel drive will be standard on the V6, with selectable (part-time) four-wheel drive on the four-cylinders, and a six-speed automatic transmission with the single-turbo model.

For full details on the new 2023 Volkswagen Amarok range, click here.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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