It's unusual to hear about a vehicle being chosen for conservation purposes, but Volkswagen's Amarok pickup is doing just that.
Dr. Paul O'Donoghue, one of the world's leading wildcat experts, has chosen the Amarok to assist in the Wildcat Haven project. The project aims to conserve populations of the UK's native lynx and repopulate forests. Fewer than 100 of the cats remain in the UK and populations throughout Western Europe are falling.
Geneticist O'Donoghue says he first became aware of the Amarok on a project in South Africa, when he was working on game reserves with rhinos, and the manner in which the car dealt with the terrain there made it first choice for coping with the Scottish Highlands. With highly unpredictable weather for much of the year, the Highlands is one of the more challenging environments for conservation.
The Amarok hasn't only been chosen for offroad excellence. With an adaptable load bed to carry all the tools needed for remote work and the vehicle's high beam light bar, the Amarok allows for longer working hours into the night - or the Highlands' famous 'gloam' - making it an ideal candidate.
Wildcat Haven operates on two sites in the UK, with the Highlands base complemented by a site in Thetford Forest. With these locations separated by 500 miles, this demands a vehicle with good road manners too, and the Amarok is more than up to the challenge.
The Amarok is available in three trim lines – Startline, Trendline and Highline - as well as the limited edition Amarok Atacama. Find out more about the Amarok here: https://www.inchcape-volkswagen.co.uk/commercial-vehicles/volkswagen-range/amarok/