The South African motoring industry in 2022 has proven once again that Mzansi is undoubtedly bakkie country.
While there was lots of activity in the SUV, hatchback and sedan segments, it was the bakkies that got the most attention. Bakkie news spanned from Peugeot’s re-entry into the segment by virtue of the Landtrek, the first Jeep bakkie in the form of the Gladiator and the hottest production Toyota Hilux yet to the all-new Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger and VW Amarok.
In fact, five of the 10 most popular motoring topics on The Citizen’s website this year were bakkies. Over the last 10 days of December, The Citizen Motoring looks back at these five along with the rest of the top 10 Motoring Newsmakers of 2022.
Enter new VW Amarok
Coming in at number nine, the Volkswagen Amarok is the first bakkie on our list.
Volkswagen has been playing in the bakkie game since 2010. Although not a volume seller, the VW Amarok is an integral part of the bakkie landscape largely due to the outgoing 190 kW version being the fastest production bakkie money can buy in Mzansi.
But the new VW Amarok is soon to lose that advantage as the most powerful version will be powered by the same 3.0-litre V6 engine found in the new Ford Ranger. The reason for this being that new Amarok is built on the same assembly line as the Ranger in Silverton.
Single cab returns
Both the Ford and VW V6 bakkies is set to be blown out the water anyway once the beastly new 292 kW Ranger Raptor arrives early in 2023.
But what the VW Amarok will lose on the performance front, it will make up for elsewhere. While VW stopped importing single cabs due to the fact that they could not compete with the locally built competitors price-wise, the Ford partnership affords them the opportunity to re-enter this segment.
Ahead of the new VW Amarok local launch early next year, we had the chance to experience the bakkie during its international launch drive in Cape Town early in December. Right from the outset it is clear that VW has spend a lot of effort in making the new Amarok as premium as you could wish for in a bakkie.
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