Electric VW truck (Amarok Electric): Everything we know

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN) is seriously considering an electric version of the second-generation Amarok truck, stated Lars Krause, VWN board member, during a media briefing in Wolfsburg, Germany, according to an Autocar report dated April 25, 2022. Krause gave away some essential details about the VW Amarok electric during the announcement of the second-generation gasoline-powered Amarok.

There’s no official confirmation of the project, but VW could aim to grab a share of the vast segment globally with an electric VW truck. Here’s our preview of the VW Amarok Electric.

Unlikely to use the MEB platform

The development of the electric VW truck could be a continuation of Volkswagen and Ford’s current ‘Global Alliance’ partnership, under which the brands have developed the second-generation VW Amarok and the fourth-generation Ford Ranger. Volkswagen seems confident about using a modified version of the gas-powered Amarok platform for its electric iteration. The Amarok and the Ranger are based on Ford’s updated T6 platform, developed by the American carmaker for its rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive mid-size trucks and SUVs.

This is a clear example of the challenges faced with internal combustion-engined trucks, where costly R&D is required for a single product. The chassis/technology is often not shared among other models (in the case of Ford, the Ranger forms the basis for the Everest SUV, which is sold in Asia and Oceania, helping the company spread costs). The Alliance would benefit both the brands: Ford can benefit from VW Group’s large pool of electrification resources, while VW can learn from Ford’s mastery in manufacturing trucks.

Design & Interior

The Ford Ranger and the VW Amarok have been crafted by designers and engineers at Volkswagen’s main engineering center in Wolfsburg, Germany, and Ford’s Australian design and engineering center in Victoria. Earlier this year, VWN board member Krause told Drive that VW took the lead in design while Ford accepted other responsibilities.

The VW Amarok Electric could feature a slightly softer exterior design compared to its donor model. It may have a concealed area instead of the gas- and diesel-powered 2023 VW Amarok’s wide upper radiator grille with crossbars. The IQ.Light – LED matrix headlights could feature a rather emotional design on the electric model.

On the sides, almost entirely covered, aerodynamic 21-inch alloy wheels could make the battery-powered Amarok immediately recognizable. VWN may launch the EV exclusively with a four-door double cab. At the rear, VWN could use a narrow light strip to connect the tail lights for unique, technical styling.

Features

The interior of the Amarok Electric should carry the same design as the 2023 Amarok for the most part. Expect a 12.0-inch Digital Cockpit, a 12.0-inch touchscreen in a tablet format, 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seats, wireless smartphone charger, Harman Kardon audio system, and many more premium features. Where the cabin could differ slightly is with the usage of new sustainable and cruelty-free materials with recycled content. The color scheme may also be different (warmer) in the Amarok Electric.

On the safety front, VWN could throw in a raft of advanced driver assistance systems and parking aids, including ACC+ Adaptive Cruise Control with Intelligent Speed Assist (incl. road sign recognition), Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Area View (360-degree camera), and Park Assist.

Electric VW truck specifications

There are no concrete details about the VW Amarok electric’s powertrain. However, Volkswagen should exceed the capabilities of the MEB-based VW ID. Buzz. The European model offers a 77 kWh (net) battery that feeds a rear-axle-mounted electric motor. The electric motor produces 201 hp and 229 lb-ft, and the battery supports up to 170 kW DC fast charging. Expect the VW Amarok electric with a much higher torque figure, a bigger battery that gives it at least 250 miles of range, and a higher DC charging output.

The second-generation VW Amarok has a 6.8-inch longer wheelbase compared to its predecessor, taking the wheelbase length to 128.7 inches. This has reduced the overhangs and, in the future, might help Volkswagen accommodate a sizeable battery between the axles of the electric VW truck.

2023 VW Amarok rear
VW has taken an efficient approach for the new Amarok by partnering with Ford rather than pouring hundreds of millions into the development process. Image Source: Volkswagen Group

On the VW Tarok Concept truck

The closest VW of North America has come to the truck segment is in the presentation of concept vehicles. In March 2018, at the New York Auto Show, the VW Atlas Tanoak concept was revealed, which, despite being well-received, was acknowledged by VW’s Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy, Hein Schafer, as not being capable as a body-on-frame truck and still needing considerable investments.

VW Atlas Tanoak Concept
VW quickly dismissed the Atlas Tanoak concept requiring significant investments and not being competitive with ladder-frame rivals. Image – VW

In 2019, VW presented the Tarok concept, a smaller truck (comparable to the Ford Maverick) catering to the lifestyle buyer. This was subsequently also written off for the American market, citing its niche segment with low priority. In 2021, the then VW of North America’s executive VP for sales and marketing, Duncan Movassaghi, stated that the brand would focus on expanding its electric lineup and keep ICE vehicles competitive than enter a low volume segment with the Tarok.

Featured Image: Volkswagen Group