Volkswagen Amarok The Van Expert

The Volkswagen Amarok pickup should now appeal to a wider potential customer base following the addition of a manual gearbox version to the range.

The six-speed manual gearbox is combined with the 204hp 3.0-litre diesel V6 engine and selectable all-wheel-drive, and will bring the cost of buying an Amarok down by more than £650 to £25,600 excluding VAT.

It will slot into the range as an entry-level model, sitting below the existing version which uses an eight-speed auto transmission and permanent all-wheel-drive.

In standard mode, the new version operates in rear-wheel-drive format and will hit 62mph from rest in 8.4 seconds – half a second faster than its automatic sibling. Combined cycle fuel economy is quoted at 32.5mpg, with CO2 emissions of 229g/km.

Crawler gear

The manual transmission also allows the addition of an off-road gear reduction function to allow extreme crawling pace for navigating complicated passages off-road or scaling particularly steep inclines of up to 100% (slope angle of 45°).

The manual version of the Amarok has a gross vehicle weight quoted at 3,200kg, braked trailer weight of 3,000kg, and a payload of 1,050kg.

The new model joins the auto version of the latest Amarok that went on sale in the UK in December 2016. A programme of updates included a refreshed external look, a new 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, an all-new interior and the addition of latest-technology infotainment systems and technology.

Volkswagen intends to extend the pickup range further, planning to launch a 163hp variant of the manual Amarok early next year.

Customers can place orders for the 204hp manual version at Volkswagen Van Centres now, with first deliveries expected in February 2018.

Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Van Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.