2023 VW Amarok Could End up Being One Seriously Cool Mid-Size Pickup Truck, and Here’s Why

Technically speaking, it shouldn’t be all that hard for VW to improve on its first-generation Amarok pickup once the all-new model arrives in showrooms sometime next year. That being said, the original still packs quite a punch from a value standpoint and that’s because a lot of work went into its development.
2023 VW Amarok rendering 8 photos
Photo: Reichel Car Design
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VW Commercial vehicles first began looking into the possibility of building a pickup truck back in 2005 and a few years later, development mules and prototypes began taking to the streets, before a concept model was unveiled in September of 2008 at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, Germany. Then, five years after the initial announcement, VW unveiled the Amarok, which went on to sell remarkably well globally.

Then, last year, VW announced the arrival of a second-generation model, based on the Ford Ranger, which according to the German carmaker, was a crucial aspect of the development process. In fact, the chairman of the board of management for VW Commercial Vehicles, Thomas Sedran (now former chairman), flat out said that without this Ford partnership, a second-gen Amarok would not have been developed.

Meanwhile, Sedran’s successor, Professor Dr. Carsten Intra, had this to say about the all-new Amarok earlier this year: “It’s not going to be just a fantastic pickup, it’s going to be a genuine Volkswagen too – with clear DNA in both technology and design.”

Speaking of design, VW released the first teaser for the Ranger-based 2023 Amarok back in March and naturally, those early sketches often if not always exaggerate the visuals and the proportions. Sure, it would be amazing if the new Amarok came with those massive bulging arches, that much ground clearance, large off-road wheels and bold front-end styling – but the real product will surely tone those things down. So, the question becomes: by how much?

2023 VW Amarok rendering
Photo: Reichel Car Design
All we have to go on, aside from the sketch, are several spy images of the all-new 2023 Ford Ranger, whose proportions already look better than those of its predecessor. Yes, the prototype is fully camouflaged but certain things can still be ascertained, despite the blurry vinyl.

Now, thanks to Bernhard Reichel, we can show you these detailed renderings of the second-generation Amarok. The artist clearly used the official sketch as a starting point, before bringing it down to Earth a bit. Even so, if the new Amarok ends up looking anything like these renderings, we’ll be thrilled, because the design is both rugged as well as modern, and it matches what Intra said about the upcoming pickup.

But wait, here’s where things get even more exciting, because not too long ago, VW Australia exec Nick Reid had this to say in an interview with Motoring: “There’s still a place for an off-road version. This market is huge and you can’t ignore that, so it’s something at the back of our minds.”

This could mean multiple things, including a Ranger Raptor-based Amarok, or simply one that’s genuinely off-road-focused, like the real-life Amarok W580.

2023 VW Amarok R rendering
Photo: Reichel Car Design
As you can see, the design language used for these renderings works pretty darn well if you apply it to something more rugged than a toned-down version of the official sketch. All you need is a set of off-road accessories and you’re good to go. The render also features a subtle R badge, to go with a blacked-out VW badge that matches the radiator grille really well. The designer even ditched those normal looking seats in favor of bucket seats for the driver and passenger.

Ultimately, if the second-gen Amarok ends up looking anywhere near this good, it might just become one of the coolest mid-size trucks on the market. VW could really use such a “win”.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
Sergiu Tudose profile photo

Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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