Along with the Ford T6 Ranger, one of the other forbidden-fruit pickups from overseas we'd love to have on this side of the Atlantic is the Volkswagen Amarok. Handsomely European and practical, like most VWs are, the Amarok usually comes with four-cylinder TDI power. But for the Amarok R-Style concept that's debuting at Volkswagen's Woerthersee show in Austria, the Touareg TDI's 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel was shoehorned under the hood, and tuned for 272 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.
Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, VW is claiming what we think is a very conservative 0-62 mph estimate of 7.9 seconds. To complete the whole "GTI with a bed" theme, the Amarok R-Style sports 22-inch wheels with 295/35-22 tires, and 2.3-inch fender flares to cover the beefy rolling stock. A carbon fiber front diffuser, enlarged air intakes, and dual chrome-plated exhaust outlets highlight the exterior changes.
Inside, the Amarok gets a black, red, and white color scheme, a carbon-fiber dashboard, race bucket seats, a sport steering wheel, 8-inch touchscreen audio and control interface, and a 500-watt subwoofer.
The last time VW had a diesel pickup in the U.S. was in 1982, and it had a raging 52 hp. Although it would probably cost a fortune, and will probably never happen, we wouldn't mind seeing the Amarok, and especially the hot-rod R-Style on our shores.