The workhorse transformed

The evolution of bakkies into luxury lifestyle vehicles has broadened their appeal beyond work to leisure and status. Let’s take a look at a few of these newly reimagined utility vehicles.

By Juliet McGuire

Priced from: R1 184 100

Luxury can mean power and the Ranger Raptor is the most powerful double cab bakkie you can buy on the market. It has a mighty 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine under the bonnet producing an explosive 292 kW and 583 Nm of torque. And although it can get you to anywhere you want to go; over mountains, through deserts and across salt pans, the Ranger Raptor also exudes an element of luxury that wouldn’t make it out of place parked in the driveway of an exclusive golf estate mansion.

It has a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster. It also has a wireless charging pad, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and fighter-jet-inspired leather-trimmed seats. The Ranger Raptor’s cabin has a significant aura about it!

Priced from: R1 184 200

The Volkswagen Amarok has always had a bit more of a car-like appeal than its rivals. You could have been sitting in a top-of-the-range Golf when behind the wheel of an Amarok. But then Volkswagen and Ford teamed up. The Amarok is made at Ford’s Silverton plant right here in South Africa. But while it is based on the Ford Ranger, there are some things that set it apart. And the best part is that it remains a plush, comfortable and almost car-like cabin.

The Aventura sits right at the top of the Amarok lineup and is aimed at those customers who are after luxury. Besides heated leather seats and a Harman Kardon sound system, it adds chrome mirrors, door handles and side mirrors as well as 21-inch Varberg alloy wheels.

Priced from: R1 159 900

The exclusive D-Max Arctic AT35 is only produced in limited numbers and is only available on special orders. This flagship model gains a few exterior highlights over its standard siblings and was developed in collaboration with Icelandic specialists Arctic Trucks, who are renowned for producing some of the most capable overlanding vehicles on the planet.

It is based on the top-spec V-Cross model which means you can expect piano black interior finishes and leather trim throughout, eight-way electric driver’s seat adjustment with lumbar support, a 9-inch infotainment system with eight speakers, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, as well as a wireless charging pad.

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