A new 8-speed automatic transmission has been introduced on the Volkswagen Amarok, a feature which VW states will set it apart in the 1-tonne bakkie category.
The 8-speed transmission on the Amarok was specifically developed for it, and for that matter VW believes they have achieved to develop a transmission which offers gearshift speeds at the level of the sportier DSG transmission. We haven’t driven the vehicles yet but I can assure you this is a feature we would really like to test.
The 8-speed automatic transmission uses a torque converter which allows for better response at low speeds and less resistance to slip than a DSG transmission.
The additional gears allow for a wider gear ratio spread between 1st and 8th gear, enabling the engine to work more frequently in its optimal torque band. Other than that the addition of the 8th gear or overdrive gear allows for economical fuel consumption.
The first gear is configured as a low range gear that can be used for pulling away in off-road use or when towing. The Amarok with automatic transmission has a permanent 4-wheel drive, which makes it highly capable in all-terrain use.
The new automatic transmission is combined with a 132kW 2.0-litre Bi-turbo TDI engine. It has maximum torque of 420 Newton metres that is available at 1 750rpm.The top speed of 179 km/h is reached in 7th gear. It only takes 10.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h.
The towing capacity of the Amarok has also been increased with the addition of the automatic transmission. The towing capacity of the Amarok has been increased to 3 tonnes (up to a 12% gradient).
The permanent 4-wheel drive in the Amarok with automatic transmission offers better ride and greater handling capabilities both on and off road. Its Torsen differential is new to the bakkie class. It distributes the drive power variably between front and rear axle. The basic setting produces a 40:60 split which improves traction on the road.
From April 2013, all Amarok models will be available with BlueMotion Technology. The main features of BlueMotion Technology are stop-start system and regenerative braking. BlueMotion Technology improves fuel consumption and lowers CO2 emissions.
The retail price, including VAT, for the Amarok Double Cab 2.0BiTDI 132kW 4Motion Auto Highline will start from R461, 000.