Volkswagen Amarok: The Next Ford Raptor Fighter?

The 2022 Volkswagen Amarok is a midsize truck based on the Ford Ranger. While the Volkswagen pickup truck looks nothing like a Ford Ranger, it could take even more from it soon. Volkswagen might begin to build a Raptor fighter version of the Amarok, whether Ford helps with it or not. According to a report from The Drive, the German automaker is exploring its options to build a serious off-road pickup truck model. Could the Volkswagen Amarok really be the next Ford Raptor fighter?

A Volkswagen Amarok off-road model with Raptor hardware

A Volkswagen Amarok off-road model could be coming using Raptor hardware from Ford. Or Maybe it won't be able to get them.
Volkswagen Amarok | Volkswagen Australia

While the Volkswagen Amarok is based on the new Ford Ranger, it doesn’t have access to the Ranger Raptor parts. According to The Drive, the automaker made it very obvious that it would be interested in getting access to Raptor hardware from Ford. If that plan doesn’t work out for Volkswagen, it has other ideas on building a Raptor competitor.

Previously, Volkswagen worked with Walkinshaw Performance, an Australian company that developed the tuned W-Series Amarok pickup trucks. These trucks used tuned suspensions and steering and underbody protection, and cosmetic modifications. Basically, it added many things the Raptor variant adds to Ford trucks. While the Raptor hardware might fare better for VW, Walkinshaw Performance could be another excellent option.

No Raptor? No problem

Once again, collaborating with Walkinshaw could get Volkswagen the support it needs for an off-road Amarok. While the pickup segment is filled with off-road models, at the very least, Walkinshaw would provide unique attributes to the Volkswagen Amarok. It would differentiate the Amarok from the Raptor by much more, making it a better (or worse) option, depending on who you ask. Although Raptors are some of the most popular performance and off-road models in the market, failing to get the hardware from Ford could be detrimental.

Even if just for marketing, labeling the Amarok using Raptor parts could be great for sales. After all, just revealing the Ranger Raptor has gotten the pickup truck tons of attention. Additionally, even the Bronco Raptor is in high demand, with everyone begging to see more. F-150 Raptor fans are drooling over the possibility of an SUV or a smaller truck with similar capability.

Volkswagen Amarok and Walkinshaw Performance partnership

A Volkswagen Amarok pickup truck tuned with Walkinshaw Performance parts, the other option in Ford Raptor hardware is unavailable.
Volkswagen Amarok Walkinshaw | Volkswagen Australia

Since the two companies already have a successful relationship, it would be easy to build it even more. In 2021, the German automaker sold 1,000 units of Walkinshaw-modified vehicles, and it plans to sell around 500 more in 2022. We already know the Amarok will have a turbodiesel V6, leaving room for an overpowered Raptor-level engine.

Lars Menge, the head of product marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said, “There will be a powerful V6 TDI available in the future, too, plus further power units specific in each case to the market.”

Raptor hardware would be better for the Volkswagen Amarok

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Can Walkinshaw deliver the same level of quality and performance that Ford’s Raptor models can? Only time will tell; however, Volkswagen wouldn’t have Raptor parts at the top of its list if that were the case. Walkinshaw is the backup option, and if VW can turn the Amarok into its Raptor, it certainly will. Regardless, Volkswagen Amarok fans rejoice as you can bet you’ll be getting a premium off-road model one way or another.

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