The two firms agreed a wide-ranging ‘global alliance’ last year that will include commercial vehicles and electric cars. The next-generation Amarok will be the first model launched as a result of the initiative and is described by Volkswagen as “a major strategic step”.
A design sketch of the new Amarok was shown as part of the Volkswagen Group’s annual conference. It reveals that the machine is set to gain a bolder, more aggressive grille similar to that seen on the latest Touareg, while the boxy wheel arches recall the American Atlas SUV.
The new machine will likely be based on the platform used for the Ford Ranger pick-up and the reduced cost of doing so will be key to ensuring Volkswagen’s Commercial Vehicles arm can achieve the required economies of scale.
The current Amarok was launched in 2010.
Although neither firm has commented, it is possible that the platform-sharing agreement could lead to the Amarok being built in Ford plants for certain markets. That would potentially enable the machine to be sold in the US without being subject to a tariff on light and mid-size trucks imported into the country.
The Ford and Volkswagen agreement is also set to include a VW van based on the Transit platform, along with Ford electric cars built on the VW Group’s MEB architecture.