Collaboration is the name of the game when it comes to the automobile space as it reduces cost and makes it more profitable for car-makers. A few years back Ford and Volkswagen entered into an alliance with the idea of developing electric cars, commercial vehicles, and utes for key markets. The fruits of which are seen today with the new Volkswagen Amarok and the Ford Ranger Ute. While they do share the same platform, powertrains and even the infotainment system, both car-makers are adamant that they are indeed completely different in many key parameters. Let’s take a look for ourselves then.
Like Hyundai and Kia, most of the visible parts are bespoke and both these brands follow their own design language. Externally, the Amarok and the Ranger only share roof rails, door mirrors and handles with everything else being bespoke. The Amarok is a typical Volkswagen with its crisp but sombre lines while the emphasis on a boxier design is evident with the square wheel arches to the horizontal grille. The Ranger follows the design template laid down by its bigger siblings and gets the ‘C’ shape headlamps. Both do get Matrix LED lamps as well.
Inside, you’d be hard pressed to say that they are indeed related with a different interface, instrument cluster design and different material/upholstery designs. The quality is impressive and the portrait touchscreen set-up houses the latest SYNC system in both although the icons/graphics are tailor-made for each. We did notice the same gear shifter design in both though.
A 3270mm wheelbase enables both to be spacious along with sharing the same ladder frame chassis, transmission options and powertrains of course. However, for the Australian market, there would be a big difference in terms of petrol engines though with the Amarok getting a 2.3-litre EcoBoost while the Ranger Raptor gets the powerful twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol. Meanwhile, 2.0-litre single/bi-turbo and V6 diesels are shared. Do note that the Amarok offers a manual transmission option while the Ranger is automatic only.
2023 Ranger deliveries just started recently albeit in limited numbers with buyers requiring to wait a bit due to huge demand while the Amarok will arrive next year in Volkswagen showrooms. We hear many prospective Ranger buyers might be queuing up for the Amarok due to delivery delays but in hindsight, both are subtly different and aimed at different buyers.