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Once upon a time trucks were built for work. They had manual door locks, crank windows and AM radios, if they had any sound system at all. Leather seats, air conditioning and voice-activated distractions were out of the question. Like a framing hammer, pickups were simple and effective.
For decades they were purpose-made for hard-working men (and women), the kind of folks that make Paul Bunyan look like a dragqueen. But somewhere along the line these roughneck vehicles became cool with the subdivision set. People living in suburbia started to buy them en masse. With sales increasing so did the clarion call for more comfort.
Today it’s easy to push a simple truck’s window sticker well into luxury-car territory… and beyond. Sure, these vehicles can still handle a 14-hour day on the jobsite and are even more capable than their forebears, but more often than not they’re loaded with costly options that appeal to style-conscious shoppers rather than blue-collar workers. Here’s a list of 10 pricey pickups tailor-made for urban cowboys. The MSRPs are listed without incentives, so actual pricing may vary.
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
Despite some of the lineup having off-road capability, Volkswagens in North America rarely sport off-road tires.
The same isn’t true in Europe where the German automaker sells its Amarok pickup truck which has serious off-road prowess. VW chose the 2012 Geneva Auto Show to debut its Amarok Canyon concept, which is a beefed up version of the pickup.
It sits on Mickey Thompson all-terrain tires and a 1.6-inch lifted suspension that give the truck a total 3.4 inches of extra ground clearance over the standard model. Tough-looking 18-inch wheels painted “Adamantium Dark” add further to the truck’s muscular appearance.
Other accenting features add more to that theme, like the tubular roll bar that runs along the bed and over the cab.
Unlike American pickups, the Amarok drivetrain is influenced by European sensibility with a 180-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo-diesel instead of the large engines most North American trucks of similar size have.
The bed is small but functional, with lots of tie-down handles available for securing goods. Realistically, the Amarok Canyon isn’t meant for the same construction site work horse life of an F-150 or the like. It’s crew cab setup and shorter-than-average short box are more designed for ferrying passengers between kayaking trips, which is probably why the concept shown above had that equipment in the bed.
In keeping with the European mentality, the Amarok is available with a six speed manual. That might throw most American truck buyers a curve ball, but it doesn’t matter because this truck isn’t meant for the U.S. market. The Amarok Canyon is still a concept but a more practically oriented version may be available as early as this summer to Europeans.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Amarok Canyon concept
Volkswagen will launch its Amarok pickup truck in North America as the brand searches out new ways to expand its product offering on this side of the Atlantic. According to a report by Car & Driver the Amarok will eventually wind-up on our shores, although it’s not expected to make the jump any time soon.
Having just launched in Europe, the Amarok starts at 26,203 Euros (given current rates of exchange that’s about $35,300) for a two-wheel drive model powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel.
If VW hopes to make a success of the truck in this market it will need to deliver more powerful engines, although with VW’s expertise in diesels the German automaker may have a lot of success with a smaller pickup in North America that’s available with a diesel engine.
We suspect that if the rumors are true then the Amarok won’t debut until the next generation of the truck – a solid 5 years away, if not longer.
Additional rumors suggest VW may also look to bring over the Caddy MPV and yet there continues to be no confirmation on a VW Polo for the U.S.
[Source: Car & Driver]