Pickup trucks are hot right now in North America. So hot, that Volkswagen is seriously considering entering the game, and bringing it's popular Amarok to Canada.
So far most of the focus has been on big trucks, and the small and midsize segments haven't seen much action lately. Ford's Ranger and Ram's Dakota are being retired, and the others haven't seen a refresh for a while. Maybe a new entry into the market will shake things up a bit in the segment.
Volkswagen says that they are investigating, but are proceeding very cautiously and slowly. Part of their evaluations include discussions with dealers, who are gauging their customer's interest in the pickup.
Part of the hesitation is that Volkswagen needs to be certain that the trucks can make it on their own in Canada, without U.S. distribution. The situation has worked before when VW offered Jetta and Golf models in Canada without an American equivalent. Volkswagen's U.S. arm has no plans to import the current version of the Amarok. With only ten percent of the population, a strong business case needs to be made in order to justify a Canada-only model.
Should this midsize truck come to Canada, it will likely be offered with a TDI diesel engine. Diesel powered cars are popular in countries such as Canada where gasoline is expensive. Currently, VW is building the trucks with three diesel powertrains, offering from 138 to 177 hp and torque ranging from 250 lbs to 310 lbs per foot. The manual version gets comparable output numbers as it's automatic counterpart.
The VW Amarok is built in both single cab and double cab, and is available with either RWD or 4WD.
The 2013 VW Amarok has been beefed up with an increased trailer load, now capable of up to 7,055 lbs (3.2 tonnes) and offers a twelve year warranty against corrosion. New convenience features have been added as well including ParkPilot, a Light and Sight package, follow me home function and a new cornering light system.
Equipped with VW's BlueMotion Technology, the truck comes with regenerative braking, stop/start and tires with optimized rolling. Volkswagen claims that the package helps cut 0.5 litres of fuel per 100 km.
Right now, you can only find the Amarok in Australia, Europe, Russia, South Africa, South America and New Zealand. It's built in Argentina. Canada could use something fresh in the midsize truck segment, let's hope that Volkswagen comes through for us on this one.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca