The more the merrier

The more the merrier

With the third update to the Amarok since its launch in September 2010, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has moved to a new frontier … the vehicle is the first bakkie to feature an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The company claims this new system combines a high degree of ride comfort and good off-road abilities with excellent levels of fuel consumption – a reported 8,3 l/100 km and 219 g/km of CO2.

Volkswagen says the automatic transmission was especially developed for the Amarok, with emphasis placed on efficiency, smoother gear shifts, weight reduction and reliability. It also uses a torque converter that allows for better response at lower speeds – a key factor during off-road driving and towing.

The additional gears have made it possible to achieve a wider gear ratio spread between the first and eighth gears when compared to a conventional automatic transmission. As a result, the two-litre Bi-turbo TDI engine works more frequently in its optimal torque band, addressing the concerns of Amarok naysayers that power is lost after the band is surpassed.

The vehicle’s low engine revs also generate lowered engine noise, with no effect on performance as the automatic transmission is combined with a 132 kW BiTDI engine. The power plant has a maximum torque on 420 Nm that is available at 1 750 r/min and can reach a top speed of 179 km/hour in the seventh gear – going from zero to 100 km/hour in 10,9 seconds.

The eighth gear has been configured as a fuel-saving overdrive gear that operates at reduced engine speed, while the first gear has been configured as a low range gear that can be used for pulling away in off-road applications.

The vehicle boasts permanent four-wheel drive and has a Torsen differential, also new to the bakkie class, which distributes the drive power variably between the front and rear axle, with the basic setting producing a 40:60 split – improving traction on the road.

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