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V6 Turbo Diesel Showdown: Volkswagen Amarok Drag Races Mercedes-Benz X-Class

When Volkswagen came out with the Amarok in 2009, everyone loved the mid-size pickup truck. The same can be said a decade later, more so with the introduction of the V6 TDI with up to 272 PS (268 horsepower) and 580 Nm (427 pound-feet) of torque.
V6 Turbo Diesel Showdown: Volkswagen Amarok Drag Races Mercedes-Benz X-Class 1 photo
The 3.0-liter turbo diesel develops peak torque from 1,300 to 3,000 rpm, which is great for towing and acceleration. Over at Mercedes-Benz, the X-Class is nothing more than re-bodied, re-badged Nissan Navara with the OM 642 serving as the range-topping engine option.

Also displacing 3.0 liters, the 24-valve turbo diesel can trace its roots back to 2005 in the CLK 320 CDI. In the case of the X 350 d, the V6 develops 258 PS (255 horsepower) and 550 Nm (406 pound-feet) from 1,600 rpm, sending the suck-squeeze-bang-blow to the four-wheel-drive system with the help of a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Coincidence or not, the gearbox comes from Nissan too. The thing is, how does the X 350 d compare to the Amarok V6 TDI in a drag race? Turkish magazine 4x4 Dünyas1 pitted the two against each other, and Volkswagen has the legs to reach the finish line ahead of Mercedes-Benz.

It’s possible the Amarok won thanks to the short burst of overboost of the V6 TDI, but that’s not all. In Double Cab configuration, the Volkswagen happens to be heavier than the X-Class. Given these circumstances, it’s the ZF 8HP automatic transmission that makes the difference along with the 4Motion four-wheel-drive system with an automatically-locking Torsen central differential.

Care to guess how much these babies cost despite the fact they’re mid-size trucks, not full-size leviathans like American pickups? The X 350 d Progressive Edition starts at €47,490 in Germany while Der Amarok in Highline specification with the 190-kW engine kicks off at €51,931.

The difference is pricing also comes down to standard equipment, which favors the Amarok by a significant margin. On the other hand, eight grand more would get you the all-new Touareg luxury SUV in Germany. Decisions, decisions…

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