Plug-in hybrid on the cards for the 2022 VW Amarok [Update]

Volkswagen Group has filed a trademark application (Serial No. 90710469) for ‘Amarok’ at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Companies try to secure rights for names of global models, with the main intention of protecting a name from being snatched by a rival car company. Moreover, a trademark not in use now can always be useful in the future. Should the U.S. abolish the so-called ‘Chicken Tax’ and next-gen Amarok does turn out to have significant competitive advantages over the sister-mode, the next-gen Ranger, Volkswagen Group may find the model fit for the operations stateside.

Meanwhile, Amarok accessory specialist Black Sheep Innovations GmbH and car designer Thilmany Creative have collaborated on interesting renderings of a next-gen 2022 Amarok modified for off-road adventures, which could be a part of the future line of offerings at Black Sheep.

2022 VW Amarok to use the new Ford Ranger’s underpinning

2023 VW Amarok official sketch
A successor to the VW Amarok was possible thanks to the partnership with Ford, the Germans have acknowledged. However, both models would have ample design differentiation. Image: Volkswagen

In March 2021, Volkswagen Group released official digital renders of the 2022 VW Amarok. While it suffices to say that the new Amarok will be an evolution of its predecessor from these sketches, massive changes are expected under the bonnet. A plug-in hybrid is expected to be on offer for the first time.

2.3L PHEV reported

The Amarok hybrid will use a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. While details are scarce about this engine’s maker – whether it is a Ford or a VW mill – we take an educated guess that the hybrid pickup will have an American heart.

Ford’s Europe spokesperson had commented in February that its commercial range of vehicles, including the new Ford Ranger, will be ‘zero-emission’ capable by 2024. Going by other reports, the Ranger Hybrid will debut an all-new hybrid setup that hasn’t been seen in a Ford vehicle to date. The setup in question will use a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo engine with a 10-speed transmission combined with an electric motor to develop 362 hp and 680 Nm of torque (270 kW and 502 lb.-ft).

Aside from a hybrid variant on the new VW Amarok, regular combustion variants will see four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

2022 VW Amarok to be clearly differentiated from the Ranger

2023 VW Amarok front teaser
Ford will manufacture the new VW Amarok at its South African plant from 2022. Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is very confident about the success of the radically different next-gen Amarok. Talking about the upcoming model at the company’s annual press conference in March 2021, CEO Prof. Carsten Intra said:

As I mentioned a moment ago, we’re also going to soon see the new Amarok, a medium-sized pickup, with a market launch planned in 2022. For this Amarok successor, we are using a platform developed together with Ford, and we are also offering inimitable accents in terms of design and trim. And we’re showing you here a design sketch already, which I think makes one thing very clear – this is going to be a great pickup truck, a genuine Volkswagen with a clear design signature of Volkswagen, and the first reactions we received are just outstanding. It’s really going down well, and I personally like it a lot as well. So, at the end of the day, this is exactly what our customers would want because the Amarok already has a very loyal fan community.

Prof. Carsten Intra, CEO, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Road testing of the all-new Amarok has begun, spy pictures from reveal. The groundwork is happening at Ford’s Dearborn test track in the U.S. The first pictures suggest that the German-branded pickup would feature horizontal headlamps instead of the donor’s vertical design. Moreover, the fog lamps would be higher up in the mid section of the bumper instead of the lower area. The tail lamps would also be unique, and expect the grilles, bumpers, and wheels to carry a unique design, too.

Joint production

Volkswagen Group acknowledged that a successor to the Amarok would not have been possible without Ford Motor’s tie-up. The partnership will extend the new Amarok to Ford, manufacturing it at its Silverton plant in South Africa from 2022. Ford and VW deepen collaboration as the former intends on using the MEB to generate products for the European markets. The collaboration should allow Volkswagen to price its pickup truck more competitively.

Through the combination of our commercial vehicle platforms with Ford, we are becoming very competitive in the light commercial vehicles and medium pickup truck segment worldwide.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy)

Production of the outgoing Amarok at the Hanover plant has ceased, Volkswagen Group said in its annual report for 2020. “In Europe, we have already phased out production of Amarok, and we delivered the markets from South America,” Holger Kintscher, BoM – Finance and IT, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said during the company’s annual press conference in March 2021.

VW Amarok Hybrid FAQ

What is the VW Amarok hybrid release date?

The VW Amarok Hybrid should be introduced by end of 2023, following the standard variants in 2022.

Which pickup trucks will rival the VW Amarok?

Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton, and Mazda BT-50 in the European market; not to forget its sister product, Ford Ranger.

What will be the price of the VW Amarok Hybrid?

Expect the VW Amarok Hybrid to cost from about EUR 35,000.

Featured Image Source: Facebook/Black Sheep Innovations GmbH/Thilmany Creative