4WD MODIFICATIONS - GENERAL MODS
For many years we’ve been complaining about the restricted wheelbase and GVM offerings from medium-ute importers. In 2020, VW did something about it.
You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to look at a typical dual-cab ute and realise the load area is in the wrong place; or, rather, the load area is in the right place, but the back axle isn’t.
All standard dual-cab utes, with the obvious exception of US-manufactured ones, have wheelbases that are too short. When that’s combined with gross vehicle mass ratings that are around the three-tonnes mark, it’s a recipe for overloaded back axles and underloaded front ones.
The cure is simple, as US ute makers know only too well: have longer-wheelbase and higher-GVM options for people who want to carry real-world payloads.
European commercial vehicle buyers have shied away from utes for many reasons, including the aforementioned axle-load issue, so when VW entered the ute market, European customers were well aware of its shortcomings. Enter the Amarok model endorsed by VW AG that is now part of VW Australia’s Body Builder Program.
Adaptive Automotive’s ‘stretched’ Amaroks
The Amarok XL and XXL models were originally developed for VW AG by Dutch company Veth Automotive. A critical part of the engineering exercise was re-calibration of the ESC system, to allow for the increased wheelbase dimensions.
In Australia, South Australian company, Adaptive Automotive, has been licensed by Veth Automotive to carry out XL and XXL conversions on dual-cab Amarok four- and six-cylinder utes and cab/chassis. Both models can be ordered through VW dealers and both are covered by VW’s five-year warranty.
The XL model has its wheelbase extended by 310mm, from 3095mm to 3405mm; and the XXL has a 610mm extension, to 3745mm. Ute models are fitted with tub extenders as part of the conversion.
The tare weight penalties are modest: 25kg and 50kg for cab/chassis XL and XXL respectively; and 45kg and 85kg for XL and XXL utes.
Pricing is also reasonable, we reckon: $10,595 and $13,595 for the XL and XL cab/chassis, respectively; and $18,995 and $21,995 for the XL and XXL utes, where the cost includes considerable bodywork changes.
Not covered in this pricing is an optional Pedders GVM upgrade from 3080kg to 3305kg.
There are also supplementary air spring and full-air rear suspension options.