The world's wildest Volkswagen ute? Amarok 'Wolf' confirmed for Leadfoot
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Hahei's annual Leadfoot Festival is perhaps best known for its eclectic mix of cars; spanning the gulf between vintage open wheelers, to rally-spec quad bikes, to drift cars, to hill-climb monsters. And the event can now boast at least one rather rapid double-cab ute.
Volkswagen has confirmed that its race-modified production Amarok V6 — known as the 'Wolf' — will be on the grid for the event, with a Kiwi racer aiming big behind the wheel.
The black-on-blue-on-black Amarok sports a spartan cabin stripped of most creature comforts in order to save weight, plus a set of low-profile Michelins, an uprated brake package, Sabelt race seats, and more.
Ironically, the super ute will be competing on the two-year anniversary of its last big public performance. As part of the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour weekend, it set a flying lap of Mount Panorama with GT pilot Renato Loberto at the helm.
Hitting over 200km/h on Conrod Straight, it set a lap-time of 2min 57.24sec — roughly 15 seconds slower than a Superute. Impressive, given that it's relatively stock underneath its colourful bodywork, and given that it was quicker than a Volkswagen Golf GTI that also paced the iconic circuit.
Since setting that time, the other big upgrade 'the Wolf' has had one other big mechanical update. It's been given the same tuning upgrade that the standard Amarok V6 has received, which boosts torque figures from 550Nm to a segment-best 580Nm (achieved at only 1250rpm, and coupled with 190kW of power plus Volkswagen's 4MOTION four-wheel drive system).
The Wolf's partner in crime for Leadfoot weekend is Kiwi Madeline Stewart. The 19-year-old is a former round winner in Australian Rotax Pro Tour karting, and is these days best known for campaigning a Brad Jones Racing Holden Commodore in the V8 Touring Cars (formerly known as Super3).
“We felt Madeline was the best fit of the job, not only because of her stellar track record but also because of her upcoming involvement with the V8 Touring Cars and the Porsche GT3 Cup in Asia. We know she will go far, and we hope this experience will help her on her journey,” says Volkswagen New Zealand Commercial Vehicles general manager Kevin Richards.
“With Leadfoot being a showcase for the best New Zealand motorsport has to offer it seems only right that New Zealand's most powerful V6 ute joins the line-up.”