The 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor is almost here, and it’s looking a lot like the Ranger’s stablemate, the Ford Everest. There’s another new model that’ll possibly share the Ranger’s appearance and platform. Not the Ford Maverick, but the new Volkswagen Amarok. VW is keeping a lid on the upcoming Amarok’s specs but has revealed early impressions of its midsize truck.
With this next generation, the Amarok will be a joint Ford and VW venture. We can now compare the early designs of the Amarok to those of the Ranger Raptor to get a sneak peek at the final design of the upcoming truck:
I’ll admit I was skeptical of the Ford and VW pairing, because I was afraid it would change the Amarok into something unrecognizable. The design that VW has teased is a big departure from the clean lines and simple bodywork of the previous truck. The new Amarok is bigger than before at about 5.35 meters, which is the same length as the current Ranger. Unless the new Ranger grew significantly, the two trucks are probably close in size.
But I’m surprised that the Ranger Raptor looks tame in comparison. I never thought I’d call any Raptor understated, but the fender flares on the Amarok are a bit much in the renders. Now that the Amarok and Ranger share a platform, however, it’s likely that some version of the Amarok will get serious off-road upgrades and maybe even share some of what makes the Raptor models special.
I’m daydreaming of combining the Amarok’s common rail diesel V6 — maybe paired with a manual transmission — with the suspension and running gear of the Ranger Raptor. VW claims that the diesel engines (including the V6) will return, along with more ground clearance “and even better off-road properties.” And if the renders are close to the production model, the Amarok looks gnarly.
If you add the Raptor’s prowess, then all signs point to Volkswagen making off-road ability a new focus for the Amarok.
And let me sidebar here to point out that Amarok is Inuit for “arctic wolf.” What is it with companies naming trucks after wolves? I dig it, but there’s gotta be an explanation. Lobo Raptor, meet your new fellow pack mate, the Amarok Raptor.
Volkswagen’s new Amarok will debut in mid-2022, per Auto Bild. It’ll go on sale by the end of 2022 and will possibly come in at a lower price than before. The price decrease reportedly comes courtesy of the Ford partnership. I’m looking forward to a cheaper Amarok that shares parts with the Ranger and Bronco, and also gets a Raptor makeover. Even if we’re still not likely to get it in the U.S.