Volkswagen has declared it means business, launching the 3.0L turbo diesel Amarok in Australia last week.

The Amarok’s heart transplant gives it a whopping 165kW and 550Nm of torque, making it the most powerful ute in the highly competitive segment of the market, mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic.

While the new Amarok features a significant increase to the capacity and power of its engine, the fuel consumption is only a slight increase of 0.3L/100km, with a claimed combined cycle of 8.6L/100km – making it surprisingly frugal.

Despite its class leading power and torque, the new Amarok is only rated to tow 3000kg, not able to match the 3500kg limit of the Ranger, Hilux and D-Max.

The V6 Amarok is available in two variants initially, the Highline from $59,990 and the Ultimate starting at $67,990.

The V6 engine will come standard with VW’s 4Motion 40:60 front:rear permanent AWD system, meaning no low range, but there is an off-road mode, hill-descent control and rear  diff lock standard.

An updated four-pot model is due in the first quarter of 2017, with a manual V6 due later in the year.