Northstar Motor Group blogs about cars
Northstar Volkswagen Brisbane : New VW Amarok 8 Speed auto first drive
Commentary by Bob Aldons - Northstar VW
I've been in the motor industry for a long time - over 35 years - and during this time Toyota Hilux has held the mantle of the top model in the 4WD ute market. There's been contenders and some pretenders over that time, but Hilux still holds the "I am King" title.
In recent years, the tsunami in Japan, floods in Thailand and the relentless pursuit of Toyota by the other manufacturers has put Toyota Hilux under the spotlight. Seems that they won't get away any longer with higher prices and lower safety relying on the badge to retain market share.
Volkswagen Amarok took the battle to Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Mazda last year with the release of the dual cab Amarok and this year the battle intensifies with single cab and more importantly the automatic version. The 8 speed auto model is due for launch in August and will certainly put the cat amongst the proverbial pigeons for the balance of 2012.
If you want to be one of the first to experience auto Amarok, call into Northstar VW at 322 Anzac Avenue Kippa-Ring on the Redcliffe Peninsula. Northstar is only 15 minutes or so from Brisbane Airport and a leisurely drive down the highway from Nambour, Noosa, Kingaroy and the Sunshine Coast. You can also shop online at www.northstarvw.com.au and check out my reviews at www.mycarreview.com.au .
The eight-speed auto quickly endeared itself on the long transport stage
Stuart Martin road tests and reviews the new Volkswagen Amarok auto at its Australian launch with specs, fuel economy and verdict.
Good things come to those who wait - apparently - so the Volkswagen brand is hoping the eight-speed auto Amarok will be a very good thing indeed.
The German brand's answer to the dominant Toyota Hilux has been longing for an automatic and it now has one, at least in the top-spec all-wheel drive models. There's also a single-cab version to get the German brand's steel-capped boot in the door of the workhorse market.
VW Australia managing director Anke Koeckler says she is happy with Amarok sales but a single cab and an automatic will have an impact in getting more on the streets.
"We are going to have access to customers which we didn't have in the past, so our dealers are experiencing new customers, rural Queensland are getting more new customers in particular, then they experience our whole model range," she says.
"With the auto the mix is quite significant, in business, private and tradies, the auto gives us more sales opportunities," Ms Koeckler says. The ZF-sourced eight-speed auto - that in differing incarnations has already done some time in BMW, Land Rover and Audi products - is now hooked up to an upgraded twin-turbo diesel all-wheel drive train.
The Argentinean-built Amarok (it means The Wolf to the Indians in northern Canada) uses the traditional torque-converter-equipped auto teamed with a Torsen centre differential - the company has conceded the tougher duties beneath an LCV meant a DSG wasn't going to cut it, particularly in low-speed manoeuvring.....read more