TG drives the VW Amarok in Africa
Another epic Top Gear magazine feature from the archives: the only thing between us and certain death is a VW...
Posted: 17 Oct 2013
Probably a good thing I didn't mention our Amarok was packing not only a faddish turbodiesel but, even worse, an automatic gearbox. A fine one, too: the 8spd ZF - a transmission we've already seen and admired in the Touareg, Phaeton and others - is as good as torque-converters get, shifting almost telepathically and refusing to be caught out on even the gnarliest boulder-crawls or dune-blasts. Adding complication to a desert-bashing pickup might seem a recipe for disaster, but VW says the auto 'box actually adds, er, simplicity: because eight ratios can cover such a wide spread, it negates the need for a low-range 'box. Apparently, the 'box has just five moving parts (which surely doesn't seem enough), and, because it can keep the diesel in its sweet spot, reduces wear on the engine. Here's hoping. I don't fancy starring as the bloated, vulture-pecked carcass in the next David Attenborough documentary.