June 5, 2023

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Now for the next Volkswagen Amarok Walkinshaw edition

Final Volkswagen Amarok W580 rolls off the line

The special series of Walkinshaw-enhanced Volkswagen Amarok performance pick-ups has reached the end of the line after 18 months and 2600 vehicles.

The Volkswagen Amarok W580 series by former Holden Special Vehicles tuning firm, the Walkinshaw Automotive Group, has reached the end of the local assembly line.

The final vehicle – number 2600 – was completed in late October 2022 in the facility previously used for the Holden Special Vehicles Colorado Sports Cat.

Production of the Volkswagen Amarok W580 series commenced in March 2021. Of the total batch of 2600 examples, 1555 were built in 2022.

The model split since introduction was as follows:

  • Volkswagen Amarok W580: 458
  • Volkswagen Amarok W580S: 1,419
  • Volkswagen Amarok W580X: 599
  • Volkswagen Amarok W580SE: 99
  • Pilot builds and other: 25

There were supposed to be 100 examples of the Volkswagen Amarok W580SE but one of the donor vehicles was damaged during shipping to Australia.

The Volkswagen Amarok W580SE includes some equipment from the W580X off-road version and the W580S on-road edition.

Priced from $86,990 plus on-road costs, it includes the 75-watt LED light bar with integrated switch from the offroad-focused W580X launched earlier this year – and adds a spray-in tub liner, Nappa leather seats, and Walkinshaw branding on the front head rests.

By the end of the program there were up to 99 unique parts from 26 suppliers on the various Volkswagen Amarok W580 editions.

The final Walkinshaw-enhanced Volkswagen Amarok utes are already on their way to showrooms. Most are spoken for but some are still available.

“All remaining stock has been allocated to dealers and a large proportion are already sold, but not all examples have customer names on them. If you look hard enough, you will be able to find one,” said Ryan Davies, the head of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Australia.

Volkswagen Australia said the Walkinshaw program required international approval from head office in Germany, and the results had exceeded the company’s expectations.

“We’ve definitely exceeded our expectations,” said Mr Davies (pictured above, left, alongside Ryan Walkinshaw, right). “When we first sat here about three-and-a-half years ago, we talked about a concept we weren’t sure was going to fly.

“But through the courage of both partners (Volkswagen and Walkinshaw) we decided to have a crack at it. We set ourselves a lofty goal of 2000 (sales) and we increased that soon after starting the program to 2600 … and we’re very proud of that.”

The program was approved by head office in Germany as part of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles conversions business.

“We were able to achieve … the endorsement of the factory with what’s known as an official letter of no objection,” said Mr Davies. “That we’ve achieved that type of recognition in Australia … is an endorsement that is quite substantial.”

The Volkswagen Australia executive said the Walkinshaw editions were crucial in maintaining customer interest in the Amarok which was one of the oldest vehicles in the ute segment.

“Without a halo vehicle such as the W580 series, we would have struggled to maintain the level of interest and engagement (in Amarok) among ute buyers,” said Mr Davies. 

“Amarok was starting to get a bit old … and we knew that because we had to run another couple of years with it (before the new model was due).

“We weren’t able to achieve any level of factory enhancements to the car in the in the late part of its lifecycle, which is the reason why we decided to go it alone and partner with Walkinshaw.

“Having a halo product helps you sell through the rest of the Amarok range and that’s exactly what W580 series did.”

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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