GRR Garage: Volkswagen Amarok ‑ a diesel powerhouse
We've done it, we've finally hit that point in reporting on our long-term Volkswagen Amarok where we can't put off talking about the engine any more.
So here goes. In case you haven’t been paying attention over the last few months, the Amarok is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, available in three different power outputs. Originally the Amarok was on sale with a 2.0-litre TDI, but after it was given a facelift a couple of years ago that smaller motor was ditched in favour of something a bit more meaty.
'Our' car is fitted with the 224PS (221bhp) version of that grunty 3.0-litre engine, not a massive amount on the face of it, but way more importantly, it has 500Nm (370lb ft) of torque. Yes, 500. Because in real life torque is often far more important than power, and all that torque makes the movement of the Amarok quite frankly sensational.
Sticking your toe to the floor brings about an action that feels more like the big VW is shifting the entire Earth backwards than launching itself forward. All that combustion swells through the torque converter in the Amarok's eight-speed auto and launches the pick-up to the skyline with almost un-natural haste.
Now, let's not pretend that there aren't drawbacks to trying to harness that power in a pick-up. The rear leaf-spring suspension is slightly overwhelmed by the whole process and the car does heave itself backwards like a battleship under attack when all that torque is called into action. But it pretty quickly gathers everything together, and then all you can do is just hold on as time and space are rearranged around you as this monumental mass propels itself through the air.
This 3.0-litre motor is an absolute triumph, and it makes you wonder what other cars it could be shoe-horned into. Perhaps more interestingly, even as a diesel, when it gets going it actually makes quite a good noise, the V6 nature overhauling the more diesel-ey characteristics.