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Journeys : Jun Jul 2011
Tasmania, and more precisely Surges Bay in the Huon Valley, became the launching pad for Volkswagen's assault into the dual-cab commercial sector – a sector that has been dominated by Toyota Hi-Lux for more years than I can remember. Our ultimate destination was the newly- named Amarok Town (prev iously called Surges Bay) but we had plenty of work to do before we arrived there in the late afternoon. National motoring media arrived at Hobart Airport, to be dispatched in pairs to tackle some of Tasmania's best (or worst) roads, depending on why you use them. Our first leg had us travelling via Richmond to Mud Walls Road, then across to the Central Highlands and Bothwell for lunch. It was immediately apparent that Amarok wasn’t your average 4x4 dual-cab. Two things immediately hit me. First, a new benchmark had been created for internal quality. It has VW’s DNA all over it – I could just as easily been sitting in a Golf! Fir m contoured seats, stylish uncluttered layout, (yes, some of the plastics used were a little harder than the norm) but overall it’s a polished fit-out. Then there was the Amarok’s ride and handling. Despite our vehicle not carr ying a load, it didn’t display the bounce you would normally expect from a ute. The steering was nicely-weighted and relatively precise navigating some tw isty sections of road. Before leaving Bothwell we took the Amarok off-road for the first time, with a creek crossing giving us a taste of what was to come. Then we headed south towards New Norfolk and onto Jeffreys Track at the rear of the Wellington Range. A bucketing of rain over previous days made the track muddier than the VW people were expecting. I had the first stint on the track – a simple press of a button and hi-range 4x4 was selected. I drove through the ruts and mud holes and the Amarok passed with flying colours. Ten kays in I could see my West Australian colleague champing at the bit so we had a quick driver change. It soon tur ned into a very dirty mistake for me. We came across a double set of very deep ruts full of mud and water. Rather than pick a set and go for it, my friend from the west decided he would tippy-toe along the high bits! We managed to get about half way when the front wheels chose the right r ut and the rear wheels the left. We were spreadeagled across the track. Despite having low range selected and the rear diff locked in, our forward progress was hampered by the Amarok wanting to climb a steep slipper y embankment and our rear progress was being troubled by a large boulder weighing probably half a tonne. Look out, Hi-Lux Darren Moody drives Amarok, the new VW dual-cab 20 June / July 2011 Pickles Auctions For real peace of mind, purchase an RACT roadworthy inspected vehicle. For a detailed listing and photographs of vehicles visit our website. www.pickles.com.au GOVERNMENT & FLEET VEHICLE AUCTION Fixed Price Sales Saturday 9am to 2pm and Monday 8am to 4.30pm 56 Sunderland Street, Derwent Park 7009 Ph: (03) 6108 8444
Apr May 2011
MNJ Aug Sep 2011