On the “Amarok Challenge” – a 19,220-kilometer route through 15 countries in just 12 weeks, from Patagonia at the southernmost point of the Americas to Puebla in Mexico – the latest Volkswagen pickup showed that it was more than a match for any terrain.
Felipe Aja Espil, project manager and Amarok Challenge team leader, waxes lyrical as he recalls the people they met during their Latin American tour. For example, the Mennonite community in Filadelfia, Paraguay, which uses a Low German dialect: 300 of its members flocked to the local community center to get a close look at the cars. Or the soccer-mad Bolivians who invited the team for a spontaneous kick-around even though they had just driven 1,000 nerve-racking kilometers over gravel tracks. The town of Chiclayo in Northern Peru celebrated the arrival of the Amaroks with a festival. In Columbia, the online diary noted that there was “salsa and party atmosphere everywhere”. Wherever the Amaroks turned up, people came together to check out the cars and ask questions. Some of them even wanted to buy the new Volkswagen pickup right there and then. Even the Paraguayan parliamentary speaker took full advantage of the opportunity to inspect the Amarok in person, deeming it “very impressive indeed”.