Landie’ll get mid-twenties, easy. Cooked, delicious, and eventually eaten by zebras. Well, here’s the mission statement: “Delta4x4 builds cars for men who have no problem connecting with their inner child. No, it doesn’t mean ‘People’s Car’, it means ‘Properly Built Alternatives To Contemporary Brit Tat’. If, specifically, you’re VW, this is what your new, shiny pickup has to survive to overhaul Toyota as king of Africa. It’s available with Volkswagen’s latest, quietest diesels and a posh eight-speed auto ‘box, as well as the firm’s full road-car options list. Progress report: 2020 Skoda Octavia vs 1964 Octavia Super, The Daewoo Bucrane was the budget V6 coupe we never got, Six reasons why the Giulia GTA is the mad Alfa we’ve been waiting for, Ford Fiesta Ecoboost Hybrid review: the best small car money can buy, Ford Transit Custom PHEV review: a plug-in hybrid van. is part of Haymarket Automotive, a division of Haymarket Media Group © Haymarket Media Group 2019. Check specs, prices, performance and compare with similar cars. That’s the difference between life and death, that is…”. Seven electric motors and a taste for drifting - the Mach-E 1400 likes to smoke. They are quite literally lifelines. And I’m not just talking about on the car: the dust finds its way into corners of your body you didn’t think could possibly get dusty. But rural Africa is a rather slower nut to crack. Most importantly, don’t crash. So if we, photographer Wycherley and I, were to become separated from the Amarok now, within a few hours we would, quite literally, be cooked through. As it slithers up a long, dusty incline, it occurs to me how very good cars are at… surviving. It’s not simply a case of keeping your eyes peeled, because kudu are a) impressively camouflaged, b) very fast and c) easily spooked by cars, meaning they have a nasty habit of bolting from nowhere across the road in front of you. Not days. No money from the licence fee was used to create this website. The problem with Strategy Two is that it does kick up rather a lot of dust. The tyres and wheels are ‘Icelandic’ spec, and are so massive they require 200mm of wheelarch extensions to be bolted to the side. Top Gear, predictably, has adopted Strategy Two. Get Top Gear news and reviews in your inbox, Enter your email address to receive regular Top Gear newsletters. But if your engine goes bang in the middle of the desert, you will become a) dead and b) medium-rare. Strategy One is to drive very slowly, making sure you have enough time to brake to a complete stop, should a kudu jump out in front of you. Which means that - outside the big cities, at least - the car world’s relentless march of fashion, of newness and of technology all counts for bugger-all. The first is which of the two 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines you'd like under the bonnet – one with 201bhp or one with a mighty 254bhp. Where are we? Out here, reliability and indestructibility are all. America, be afraid. Phone for help? I’ve no idea what adrenaline and skill is required to wrestle an F1 car on a Q3 hot lap, but I can’t imagine it’s a patch on piloting a sensible diesel pickup down a straight African road. The cambered surface shifts second by second, deeper sand dragging the wheels off the road, hard ruts bouncing the tyres from the ground. This is, I discover later, the Fish River Canyon, the world’s second largest after the Grand Canyon. Germany wants you to know that America does not have a safe monopoly on turning humble pick-up trucks into butch, high-riding symbols of virile masculinity and brawn. Even in the wildest corners of the Scottish Highlands, if your car breaks down it’ll be, at most, a matter of hours until someone passes. “No turbo on that, 750,000km, tight as a duck’s arse.” Few great romantic poems have been written in Afrikaans. Volkswagen Amarok Aventura 2019 UK review Most luxurious VW pick-up is also the UK's fastest twin-cab, but SUV-rivalling price gives pause for thought Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 2018 review - two or three thousand tiny reed huts perched against a scorched, dusty hillside. I can see… sand. Bumping along at, ahem, enthusiastic speeds, coolly cocooned within the Amarok’s air-conditioned cabin, I wonder if its temp gauge might be exaggerating. Stopped for fuel a few days back in Kotzenshoop, right on the South African border, a couple of locals - both pink of face and khaki of attire - wandered over to peruse our pickup. The Amarok seems up to the challenge. Then there’s the predictable light bar and “side bars made of the finest stainless steel.” The finest. However, even the newest Hilux is far from the luxurious. The Amarok handled both with unblinking, camel-like resilience. You’re proud of sh*** consumption. I’m sensing I should leave it at that. Sure as hell no chance of a human finding us before we reached perfectly seared, pink-centred edibleness. It’s a great, gruff rhino of a thing, roaring lustily on the move, its utilitarian cabin designed to be wipe-clean in the event of, say, having to bludgeon a bloodthirsty leopard to death against the steering wheel. But they do, clinging onto existence in this harshest of landscapes. The Amarok, hopes Wolfsburg, can bring a soupçon of car-like sophistication to a sector that regards digital clocks and electric windows as a bit nouveau. Much better than humans, certainly. When I tiptoed past 10 minutes later, they were still going strong. “Two point seven, is it? I got chatting to a teenager called Albertus Seister. But that would make your inner child sad, wouldn’t it? “She’s got a turbo, and she’s gone half a million kilometres, no problems.”. That’s the problem with you Toyota lot. Want to survive? Europe’s biggest auto maker is quietly taking over China, and South America too. On these roads, the factor limiting your speed isn’t avoiding licence points, but a desire for self-preservation. You don’t have to spec the whole ‘Beast’, oddly enough. Prove you can take a beating, VW, then we’ll admire your smart leather and dual-zone climate control. We’ve broken down. The profits we make from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. Better make sure your car’s up to it. At least you’re unlikely to be savaged by lions or leopards out here. BBC is a trademark of the British Broadcasting Corporation. A male kudu can weigh nearly 300kg, with all its weight balanced at windscreen height atop a set of long, spindly legs.
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