Volkswagen Amarok Edition R Review New Zealand.
With 1.3billion of the world’s population people speaking Chinese, it’s by far the globe’s most spoken language, however, English (spoken by a mere 379 million) spreads its voice to 137 countries making it arguably the most popular. It’s a complex language, filled with spelling, homonyms and punctuation discrepancies.
Then there are homophones, words that sound the same (or similar) yet can take the sentence on an entirely different path. For example, accept/except, affect/effect, compliment/complement and the title of this review, edition/addition – it can be confusing, however, thanks to the new, big red VW Amarok I have just driven, the latter homophone isn’t.
Introduced to the VW line-up in 2010, the Amarok (Wolf) was a ute that embraced there (oops sorry) their upmarket car-driving experience with things like a lavish interior, plenty of driver and safety aids and it even came with leather, yet it still kept enough utilitarian about it to ensure tradesman attention with its durability and ability.
With the 2017 model year facelift a V6 powertrain was added, giving the Amarok an impressive 165kW and 550Nm to play with and last year a 580Nm V6 was introduced to really shake up the market.
So over the past decade, there’s been plenty of things for Amarok admirers to talk about, however, as far as I’m aware, the next generation of Amarok has yet to be produced (although it’s probably long since left the designers drawing board), so that leaves the ute in a bit of a holding pattern, or maybe not. Introducing the Edition R.
The Edition R is the latest addition to the Amarok family and boy does it stand out – particularly in the bright red model I had been given. Not only is it underpinned by the impressive ‘standard’ V6 model BUT it’s raided the VW accessories cupboard, been glamorised by the graphics team, it’s been visited by the tech fairy and even spent some quality time with RVE ‘vehicle enhancers’ – phew!
Up front, the VW badging has been blackened out, in fact, all the chrome brightwork is now a sinister shade of black. The bonnet has Edition R graphics and the Xenon lenses look to be tinted. Below the grille and integrated into the bumper now sits an LED light bar that’s hooked up to your main beam and ready to light your way ahead.
The Edition R’s profile is dominated by its exclusive 20” Edition R alloys that sport a Hyper Dark finish and are cloaked in Cooper Zeon LTZ all-terrain tyres with tread that’s thumbnail deep. Then comes the black side steps that have been vented to ensure all debris is released and extra graphics (both 4MOTION and Edition R) complete the look.
At the rear, again, nameplates and lenses have been blackened and tinted respectively plus the bed has a new to the market, remote operated electric sliding lid, it’s awesome (although a little extravagant).
On the topic of extravagant, although the majority of the Amarok’s cabin remains as per the regular V6, the Edition R comes with RVE’s Monza leather seats finished in honeycomb stitching, they’re incredibly supportive and heated too.
Living in the suburbs means (unfortunately) that my off-road opportunities are, quite frankly zero. However, last month I had the Amarok up the mountain on the snow and speeding around on the racetrack, so I can confidently say that the Amarok is all that and then some. That being said, I would have loved to have taken those Cooper Zeons for a mud bath. I did take the Edition R to the snow, but alas only snow planet. On the road it feels powerful and mighty. It accelerates well and feels more than at home on unsealed surfaces.
The Edition R looks fit and capable for virtually any situation and it’s got the 165kW/550Nm V6 and Torsen 4Motion to back it up. It’s handsome enough to be comfortable pulling up at a five-star hotel yet rugged enough to more than pull you out of the mire if that’s where you end up. In short, the VW Amarok Edition R addition is the acception (oops exception) to the homophone rule and priced from NZ$73,900.