That is why the new Volkswagen Amarok will not come to the USA
In the US, the mid-size pickup truck market is the new big thing. The news of the Volkswagen Amarok delighted the fans. The Amarok debuted in 2010 and performed fairly well in its first generation, which lasted a decade before VW retired it to remap the car and sell it better. She never came to the USA because of various problems, although it was mainly the “chicken tax”. Since Volkswagen built the Amarok off US land, importing it would incur a tax, making the price of this pickup higher than the competition, which is not good for sales.
But the good news is that Volkswagen has teamed up with Ford to build the second coming of the Amarok. The bad news, however, is that it’s still not on US soil. The all-new 2023 Volkswagen Amarok, which recently premiered on the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles YouTube channel, will leave Ford’s Silverton plant in South Africa, but again, it’s not going to the US.
So the reasons are the same yet different, although the Amarok’s good looks disappoint its fans in the US. Ever since Ford and Volkswagen teamed up, everyone assumed that the Amarok would definitely come to the US in the second generation, but it’s eluded us again. That said; we’re getting a car that has borrowed its foundation from the Volkswagen Amarok and could beat it in performance too. So that’s okay, right?
The US has the Ford Ranger
The Volkswagen Amarok borrows the basics from the Ford Ranger. If you love the Ford F-150 but find its engines, size and price a bit overwhelming, meet its not-so-little brother, the Ford Ranger.
Instead of the snarling V8 and fuel-efficient V6, the Ford Ranger sports a turbocharged 2.3-liter four mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that puts out 270 horses and 310 lb-ft of torque. The Ranger runs standard rear-wheel drive, but you can of course opt for all-wheel drive for extra money, which is available across the range. It has class-rivalling tow and payload capabilities that match the competition from the Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon.
It will compete with the more expensive Jeep Gladiator and Honda Ridgeline, as well as the similarly priced Nissan Frontier. Price starts at $27,000 for the XL and increases to $41,000 with the Tremor, with the XLT, Splash and the Lariat in between.
Next, the Ford Ranger also offers all the amenities you get in the pickup trucks that are its competition. While he may not give you an advantage, he doesn’t give others (read the Amarok) an advantage either.
What is special about the VW Amarok?
First of all, the world was in turmoil on the American part of the globe in May 2021 when it was announced that Volkswagen had applied to register the Amarok name for the North American market. This suggested to many that the pickup truck was finally here before VW announced there was no such news.
What does the Volkswagen Amarok have that the Ranger doesn’t have? First of all, the VW Amarok is a nice looking pickup with a very different design than the Ranger. Next, the Amarok may ride on the Ford Ranger’s foundation, but it has very different engines like the top-of-the-line 3.0-liter TDI diesel V6 that churns out 255 horses and a whopping 427 lb-ft of torque and the Ford Ranger surpasses by quite a bit. A larger engine means it also outperforms the Ranger in acceleration and probably speed, making for a slightly better mid-size pickup than the Ranger. Of course, that also means the Amarok is more expensive than the Ranger, much like the Honda Ridgeline or Jeep Gladiator. More horsepower always means more money.
There are five engine options in total, including three other turbodiesel inline-four engines, plus a 298PS 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four. There are also many transmission options and 4Motion all-wheel drive.
The Ford Ranger trumps the VW Amarok
Volkswagen might not be bringing the Amarok to the US, but since we’re also getting the Ford Ranger as an EV in 2023, with most of the goodies at a lower price, it’s not a bad deal. The Ford Ranger might have less power, but it’ll get the job done, and if you want a V6 or even a V8 there’s always the Ford F-150 to go for.
This is the first generation of the new Ford Ranger avatar, so we’re sure they’ll add more powertrains over the years. The fact remains that this is Ford’s first mid-size truck, and if it’s as good as the F-150, the Ranger could become another of Ford’s best-selling truck nameplates.
Also keep in mind that 2023 will also spawn the Ford Ranger Raptor with 392 hp, something the Volkswagen Amarok has nothing to do with. Given that the Amarok rides on the Ranger’s bones, the Ford Ranger has got to have something, right?
Sources: Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles YouTube channel