A Rugged, Mean Look To Kill Your Ranger Raptor Wet Dreams

You think that the Ranger Raptor is cool? Look at this! It is a Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 TDI tuned up a notch by the fantastic Polish tuner Carlex Design. While the Poles are best known for their work on the interior of cars - something we have witnessed with their incredible Mercedes-Benz X-Class transformation - their latest works revolve around exterior mods as well. This is not surprising considering that specialists there have become well-known all over the world. They have to widen their business scope, don’t they?

I think we are lucky they did because the latest work by Carlex Design on Volkswagen’s mid-size pickup squeezes out the best of what the German pickup can offer. While we in the U.S. can’t actually get the Amarok, adventurous Europeans can go mad with it. All with a 3.0-liter TDI, V-6 that develops 268 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. That is so much more than 210 horsepower from the Range Raptor’s 2.0-liter diesel mill.

Exterior

2018 Volkswagen Amarok by Carlex Design Exterior
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The front has been additionally garnished with the plastic hood ornament which actually surrounds the front lights and grill and gives the Amarok a final touch of manliness.

You don’t believe it looks like that. Well, let’s start with the wheels. Carlex Design specced it out with a set of BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires and a lift kit. This alone would make it mean and eager to impress. However, add to this the buffed up fenders with grey details, grey body claddings and underside protection at the front, and red stripe upfront with the words “Pickup Design” written on it and you have yourself something rather villainous. The wheel arches received extensions as well. Heck, the Carlex Design Amarok could shadow that cool new Ford Ranger Raptor. The front has been additionally garnished with the plastic hood ornament which actually surrounds the front lights and grill and gives the Amarok a final touch of manliness.

Well, that before you get into optional extras, as in there you can add an LED light bar on the roof, side sills, a full-size spare wheel, decals at the rear end, new exhaust tips, and a new exhaust sound. No, the Amarok by Carlex Design doesn’t have a new exhaust system, but it does have a new sound. At least a fake one. With a system employing an engine sound amplifier, the V-6 TDI apparently gets far a more alluring sound than that diesel engine noise clutter. Now, I have seen what a system like this can do to a three-liter diesel. On an Audi SQ5 tough, not on an Amarok. It really does make the V-6 sound far deeper, meaner, more meaningful, but it can’t compare to a V-8, I am afraid. Yet, honestly, if someone said, would you live with it, after hearing it work? I would have to say yes. Huh, I am becoming smitten with this gimmick.

Interior

2018 Volkswagen Amarok by Carlex Design Interior
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Covered in plush Nappa leather, the seats feature a strange relief and the word AMY engraved on the backrest.

Interestingly enough, I don’t see a radical transformation of the Amarok’s interior. It seems that with this car, the Poles left the Amarok as close to the original as possible. However, some obvious changes did happen in there. Firstly, the steering wheel gained quite a striking design. Its three spokes have been framed by a completely redeveloped rim. It looks thicker, with much clearer finger pads and altogether chubbier, sporty feel to it. One could argue that Carlex Design could have gone a tad easier on it though.

Nevertheless, the other notable change is the integration of new seats. Covered in plush Nappa leather, the seats feature a strange relief and the word AMY engraved on the backrest. This Carlex Design Amarok has a name - it’s Amy. While that sounds kind of gentle and tender, the Amarok itself is all but. It is like Carlex Design intentionally wanted to make a disparity like this.

Just think about it.

“I bought a new car, I call it Amy”
Wow, that’s cute, let’s see it!

And then you come with a freaking black Amarok that looks like it’s going to eat you.

Drivetrain

2018 Volkswagen Amarok by Carlex Design Exterior
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While Carlex Design did not fiddle with the engine and the drivetrain, I think that no one will actually feel that the Amarok’s 3.0-liter V-6 is underpowered. I already told you that the engine produces 268 horsepower on overboost. This engine became available only this year as a range-topping option, and it is the one to make the Amarok compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz X350d.

As you may imagine, the range-topper gained the latest eight-speed automatic transmission, an exceptional 4Matic AWD system, and numerous additional equipment goodies to set it apart from the rest of the Amarok line-up.

Price And Availability

2018 Volkswagen Amarok by Carlex Design Exterior
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Carlex Design limited the production of the Volkswagen Amarok kit to only 500 units.

Carlex Design limited the production of the Volkswagen Amarok kit to only 500 units. Considering that the Volkswagen rugged workhorse is a popular choice in Europe, that may be a bit too strict, but who am I to argue. Looking at it from another perspective, it may be that only 500 people that will opt for a kit like this exist as Carlex Design priced it at amazingly expensive $16,200. While this Amarok looks the business and takes the cake of any other sporty looking pickup truck there, it may be that the Poles could do even better for the price of the new Hyundai i30.

Considering that the top-rated engine is available only for the Aventura and the Highline models, you would have to spend at least $71,800 or $63,500 for the car alone before even reaching out to Carlex Design for a touch-up.

Conclusion

2018 Volkswagen Amarok by Carlex Design Exterior
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Pricing is a bit mad on this one. Not only regarding the Carlex Design pieces but for the car itself as well. I mean, for this kind of money one could get a proper F-150 Raptor in the U.S. with probably all additional gear Ford has to offer. Nevertheless, the Europeans aren’t that into trucks like these, so having one tricked out like this in Europe is similar to having a really nice sports car here. It is just cool. And that is what pays the most.

Further reading

2018 Volkswagen Amarok High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Amarok.

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Read more Volkswagen news.

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