New VW Amarok Pickup Truck Helps out at the Dakar Rally

Just a few months before it goes on sale first in South America and then in Europe, followed by Australia and South Africa, the new Volkswagen Amarok pickup truck is exhibiting its capabilities by following the German firm's Motorsport team currently taking part in the Dakar Rally across South America.

A total of 35 Amaroks are being used as support vehicles by the Volkswagen team and the official organisers, ASO, throughout this year's 5,600 mile event which started from Buenos Aires in Argentina on 1 January and will cross the Andes to Antofagasta on the Pacific coast in Chile, before taking a southern route to the finish back in Buenos Aires on 17 January.

"We are thrilled to put the new Amarok through its paces as part of this long-distance challenge, the world's toughest, before officially launching it on the market," said Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The new Amarok pickup truck will be available as a four-door double cab version from launch with a single cab model to follow in 2011. It will be offered with a choice of two 2.0-liter TDI turbo diesel engines producing 122HP and 163HP, with power being delivered to either the rear or all-four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.

According to Volkswagen, the Amarok comes with a payload capacity of up to 1.15 tonnes and maximum towing limit of 2.8 tonnes. For more details on the Amarok, click here to read out previous post.