Volkswagen Amarok: the new Fred Dibnah?

I recently received an email from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles suggesting that I might be interested in a little PR-stunt they were involved with. I have to admit that I skimmed through the email on my iPhone and on first viewing I thought they were launching a new range of anoraks. Not being known for my sartorial elegance, I figured they’d written down the wrong email address and were instead looking to get hold of MajorGok or MajorGeorge at Asda. Fashion really isn’t my thing.

Fortunately I took the time to read the email again because in actual fact, the subject matter was the Amarok, not the anorak. The Amarok is a pick-up truck and is Volkswagen’s answer to the ubiquitous Toyota Hilux. It is built in Argentina, can be bought from as little as £16,995 + VAT and is available with a 2.0 TDi engine. Apparently the Amarok combines car-like levels of refinement with everything you’d demand from a utilitarian commercial vehicle. Volkswagen makes a big thing of the Amarok’s strength, claiming that it is ‘the true embodiment of power intelligently applied‘.

To demonstrate this fact, Volkswagen lined up four black Amaroks in Reading and parked them in front of a 67 metre high steel chimney. They then proceeded to attach 200 metre length ropes to the top of the chimney and tie them to the tow bars of each Amarok. Then, without warning, each Amarok was driven forward and everyone hoped for the best. OK, so I made this last bit up, but rather impressively, the Amaroks pulled the chimney to the floor with no effort whatsoever. Nice work, especially considering the chimney was about the same height as Westminster Abbey. Was being the operative word. I’m wondering if the Amarok is some kind of strange offspring from Fred Dibnah?

See for yourself by watching the video above.

Did you like that?

Quite how useful this feature is, I don’t know. I guess you could earn some extra income as a demolition man? Or maybe you fancy your hand at stopping the earth spinning on its axis? Whatever, the Amarok could be for you, just don’t pull the chimney down from your neighbour’s roof eh?

One final point, is it me or is the Amarok the best example of Volkswagen’s corporate look? Probably just me… Volkswagen Amarok on PetrolBlog

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

9 comments

  1. May 10, 2011
    Chris Claydon

    Being a Mike Oldfield Fan, the name Amarok has different meaning.

    Re: VW corporate look, yes the Amarok looks good, but I think the latest Passat looks better.

    Is the Amarok enough to tempt people away from the HiLux, Navara, L200 et al. I don’t know, it will take time, and incentivising by VW.

    Put your hand over the front end, and it could be any one of the above vehicles

    Reply
    • May 11, 2011
      MajorGav

      Yes indeed – Amarok being a Mike Oldfield album!

      Agree about the Passat. Have seen an increasing number recently and the car seems to wear the corporate look very well. Has instantly dated the previous generation model.

      Reply
  2. May 11, 2011
    Chris Claydon

    You are right, the new Passat looks so much better, you almost can’t believe it is based on the previous model.

    I think the VW corporate front end does look good on the Amarok, and for a vehicle of it’s type, it is probably the best looking. Whether it will nudge out a Navara remains to be seen.

    I am guessing VW is hoping it will do well, especially after going to such efforts on the family front end.

    As an aside, Amarok was the best Oldfield album for some years. To think, I was three when Tubular Bells was released!

    Reply
  3. May 11, 2011
    Simon Hingston

    Blimey that’s an L200 that’s been hit with the ugly stick.

    Nice stunt but aren’t those chimneys made of old baked bean tins lined with more old baked bean tins?

    Fun though.

    Reply
    • May 11, 2011
      MajorGav

      I think the Amarok looks pretty good and represents a welcome change from the L200 and Navara. I guess it is a matter of opinion!

      Reply
  4. May 4, 2012
    Lorna Dibnah

    My dad (Fred Dibnah) would have been impressed with Volkswagen for that stunt ! – Possibly would have used a trio of old Land Rovers instead but nether the less those Amarok look quite sexy – would love one (if anyone from Volkswagen is viewing – ha).

    Reply
    • May 5, 2012
      MajorGav

      Thanks for commenting, Lorna. A big PetrolBlog salute for being the daughter of the legendary Mr Dibnah.

      I think you’re right about the Land Rovers. Love ‘Landy’ by the way! 😉

      Reply
      • May 5, 2012
        Simon Hingston

        A comment from Fred’s daughter!! Swoons now that’s royalty. Fred was and is quite the inspiration on many a daft mechanical quest. Who’d have thought you could run an old fighter jet engine, on a trailer, on diesel. Briefly, and badly 😀

        Reply
        • May 5, 2012
          MajorGav

          I agree, Simon.

          I’m tempted to say we’re not worthy. I wonder if Lorna would allow us to put a blue plaque on PetrolBlog to say that Fred Dibnah’s daughter once passed through these parts?!

          Reply

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