The new Volkswagen Amarok won’t sit in showrooms for as long as its 12-year-old predecessor – unless electric powertrains keep it competitive into the 2030s.
The new Volkswagen Amarok will remain in showrooms for a minimum of a decade, it has been confirmed – or even longer, should the ute remain up to date with the latest hybrid and electric technology past 2030.
Launched in 2010, the first-generation Amarok is now the oldest ute in its class – surviving beyond the typical 10-year life cycle chosen by most commercial vehicles (compared to about six or seven years for a passenger car).
At the ute’s reveal last week, Volkswagen indicated the new Amarok will adhere to the usual decade-long model cycle – unless, come 2033, it’s still competitive against more modern rivals in the world of battery-electric mid-size utes.
“We are always aiming for decades [in production] for the Amarok, because we do think that the first Amarok has been, or is still an icon – and we are absolutely convinced the second-generation Amarok will also become an icon,” said VW Commercial Vehicles marketing boss Lars Krause.
“Therefore we are planning for 10 years [on sale], and maybe even longer. But 10 years is the first planning cycle I would say, and as said before … we are flexible.
Said flexibility will revolve around the availability of hybrid and electric powertrains, which the new Amarok’s platform – shared with the Ford Ranger – has been designed to support.
It’s hinted the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok could live beyond its planned 2033 expiry date, if electrified powertrains are introduced, and the ute remains competitive among newer rivals.
“That [flexibility] means basically we have a current setup of drivetrains – diesel and petrol – but we are observing closely the market. The platform is flexible and enables us also to come up with new electrified versions, and therefore we are ready for everything that comes up,” Krause added.
The new Amarok’s planned life cycle places in the firing line of a ban on pure petrol and diesel-engined vehicles in the UK in 2035, followed by a full ban on hybrid vehicles in the UK and Europe from 2035 (albeit with an exemption in Europe for synthetic fuels).
While the Amarok has been engineered for electrified powertrains – as with its Ford Ranger ute and Everest SUV relatives, as previously reported by Drive – Volkswagen executives told media a hybrid or electric Amarok has not been given the green light.
“I would say Volkswagen is very intensive and very consequent on the way to zero [emissions]. So for us electrification is a subject in all the different fields,” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles chief Carsten Intra explained.
“What we do when we look into our products, first of all, we listen in to our customers … worldwide. We have a broad customer base all over the globe with different needs, and what we can see is in that pick-up business there is popping up a lot of demand towards electrification.
“We can confirm this car is made for electrification as well, so you can do it. We are looking closely – we have not taken any decision today to bring it in the very near future – but I think it’s an interesting field of action for the future, for sure.
However, an electrified Amarok isn’t guaranteed to be a global offering, as the acceptance of, and infrastructure for electric cars is further progressed in markets such as Europe, compared to Australia or Africa.
“To add on that … this [the new Amarok] is really a global vehicle. We will launch it in Europe of course, but especially in markets like Australia, and also Africa – and the status of electrification is totally different in these markets,” Lars Krause added.
“Our core aim is to deliver the best product to our specific customer[s] in each market. This is why we want to be flexible, and we are able to see what the developments are, and to react – this is important.”
Production of the first-generation Volkswagen Amarok will continue at VW’s factory in Pacheco, Argentina – even as the new model begins rolling off Ford’s production line in South Africa.
However, this continuation will be focused on South American markets, where price and capability are often higher priorities for ute buyers than the latest technology and safety features. This vehicle will not remain on sale in Australia, as it does not meet new crash safety regulations in force from November 1.
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.