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New VW Amarok pickup truck as elusive in U.S. as its namesake

The Volkswagen Amarok, a mid-size pickup truck sold internationally (but not in the United States) since 2010, will be revealed July 7 for its potential availability in this country.

Sharing a platform with the upcoming Ford Ranger, the Amarok has been “teased” recently on various automotive outlets as well as from the manufacturer. Its exterior includes newly styled headlights and a rugged-looking rear end.

A VW Amarok under wraps. Could it be released in the United States and Canada?
A VW Amarok under wraps. Could it be released in the United States and Canada?

The truck’s highlights include a vertically-aligned 12-inch touchscreen display, the same as the Ranger’s touchscreen. The VW Amarok also appears to have toggle switches for the hazard lights, parking sensors, an on-screen climate control menu and drive modes. There’s also a physical volume knob below the screen.

According to the carmaker, the Amarok will ship with more than 30 driver assist systems, several new via its U.S. release, including lane keep assist, lane change assist, a surround-view camera system and road sign recognition.

The Amarok will feature Ford engines ranging from 2.0 to 3.0-liters and four to six cylinders, all mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The new truck will be bigger, around 211 inches long and 78 inches wide.

According to Volkswagen, the total trailering capacity will be 7,716 pounds, up from 6,614 via European editions. Those are European specifications.

Whether the Amarok will be sold in the U.S. is unknown, but VW has applied for a patent on the name.

“In the Inuit language, Amarok means ‘arctic wolf,’ considered by the Eskimos of Northern Canada and Greenland to be the king of the wild.”

An all-electric Amarok is not currently being considered, according to VW. It’s emphasizing its 4×4 and pickup EV efforts into reviving the Scout name.

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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