VW are taking RV travel seriously with a huge list of factory-backed options to turn your Amarok into an outback-ready tourer.
You don’t have to look hard or far to see the explosion in popularity of dual-cab utes as tow tugs. For nearly a decade, they’ve dominated the new car market, routinely taking out more than half of the top 10 spots. It makes sense too. The crew cab makes them perfect for kids or grandkids up the back, for four-legged family members, or even just for stowing your kit out of the weather.
Their ride and handling have excelled in leaps and bounds. They pack plenty of punch under the bonnet. And the sheer versatility they offer is something no wagon could ever hope to match. There’s no doubt the previous generation Amarok has ticked every single one of those boxes convincingly, especially with the gruntier V6 option. But VW are aiming to make the next-generation Amarok one of the most versatile platforms on the market.
To that end, they’ve recently announced a factory-backed accessory program that’ll take even a base ‘Rok and turn it into a red dirt-rated hauler capable of lugging any caravan, anywhere.
Suspension lift kits
Right, we’ll kick things off here, because, quite frankly, it’s the biggest draw card to attract anyone looking to tow a box trailer to the local campgrounds or load up a dual axle caravan for the big lap. You can now order your new Amarok right from the dealer floor with one of three combinations of suspension to suit your needs and wants.
Of course, there’s the stock suspension for a factory ride height and a decent combination of ride quality and load-hauling ability. If you’re after a lift, upfront, you can spec up 40mm raised struts with the same load-carrying ability as the standard set, or a heavier duty set to cope with a bull bar for $1,515, including GST and fitting.
Up the back, you’ve got three similar options, although the 40mm raised stock load option will run you $2,315 while the 300kg constant rate option bumps up to $2,510. Of course, you can mix and match these to suit your needs but all come with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
While dealer-fitted canopies aren’t exactly a game changer when it comes to accessorising your tow-tug, VW is aiming to take things a little further again when it comes to giving you places to store and organise your camping kit. The canopies were designed in-house right here in Australia by the same team who designed the Amarok’s exterior so it blends in seamlessly. They’re available in three different combinations with twin sliding side windows for $5,500, one sliding and one swing-up window for $5,730, or twin swing-up windows for $6,100.
All options are available in all colours to match the exterior and come with some pretty handy features like the pop-up air vent, tinted windows, and remote central locking tied into the Amarok itself. If you’ve ever done the shuffle back and forth to get the keys to unlock the canopy to grab something quickly, you know how useful that feature is.
If you’re not keen on a full canopy there are a few other options, including a soft tonneau cover, an aluminium roll-up hard tonneau, or an electronically operated version.
Most of the gear so far has been towing, touring, or camping adjacent, but VW has also come out just with some straight-up camping gear. The most surprising of which is a factory offered Amarok branded two-person roof top tent. They’re tight-lipped about specs or details of it at this point but it does show a hard shell, and with a price tag of $3,345 and a five-year warranty, it could represent some pretty amazing value for money, depending on where it lands on the quality scale. Option it up with some roof bars, and you can mount the rooftop tent directly over the tub while still integrating the manual or electric roll cover.
Tub mods don’t end there, either. Sure, there are the usual options like a self-lowering tailgate and modular bed liner, but you can actually spec the Amarok right from the dealer with either a full-length twin drawer system or a cargo slide. Tick the right boxes, and the dealer will fit the drawers with a fridge slide, a dual battery kit mounted under the bonnet or in the tray, and supply a solar blanket to keep the whole lot charged. If the Amarok branded traction boards weren’t enough to convince you there’s an RVer at the wheel at VW surely that’ll get the job done.
The kitchen sink
Alright, we’ll be honest, you can’t actually order a kitchen sink with your Amarok but it sure does feel that way, and we wanted to cross off some of the kit that is nice to have but didn’t fit into the neat little box we drew around the stuff above. Sure, you can do the usual options of a tow bar, and an electronic brake controller so you’re ready to tow immediately.
You can also throw an Amarok branded recovery kit in the back, a nudge bar and LED driving light up front, and a snorkel in the middle. You can even spec up wider flares and all-terrain tyres ready to hit the Oodnadatta track. And if you’re concerned about pin stripping and bumps and bruises from bush tracks, there’s matte-black body cladding to keep your ‘Rok looking a million bucks.
We’ve got to be honest for a minute. When half the manufacturers are offering up sticker packs and blacked-out grills as their premium packages, it’s actually pretty insane to see VW step up to the plate like this. Sure, Amarok-branded recovery gear might be a little gimmicky and factory snorkels aren’t exactly new. But in just its second generation, the Amarok has gone from a novelty to a serious competitor, to now outclassing most of its competition with bonafide outback ready tourers right from the showroom floor.
If you’re on the hunt for a new tow-tug, it’d be well worth a look at an Amarok custom-built to your specs.