Headbanging in the land of Skipetars

Tirana ( Albania), April 2, 2015

" Wow, single cabin, well you're tough guys ", the off-road experts say around us, as I go with colleague Yves in our VW Amarok Single Cab. So all I am not sure what that has to do with the body shape male hardness. Okay, single cabin sounds like Spartan monastic cell. Or because inside there is less space for luggage? I resolve to figure it out yourself. Time enough I have, as our convoy of 14 Amarok will be three days traveling down the road from Tivat Montenegro crisscrossing through the mountains to the Albanian capital Tirana.

Four wheel drive, but no fuel-saving technology

Before getting me the 4Motion logo can be seen on the rear. That one gave us the all-wheel variant, is clear, but why is the other cars instead " BlueMotion Technology"? I learn that our version is missing the BlueMotion Technology fuel-saving technology. Never mind, to save fuel, we did not come here.

Two things 4Motion in Amarok

Yves and I swing back up into the cockpit. Single cabin or not, it does not look spartan here. Even a large Navi is on board, even a reversing camera, cruise control anda seat heating. Our Single Cab has a rocker, while most other cars have automatic ?? which is the Double Cabs reserved. In addition, buttons for setting the all-wheel drive in the wide center console are integrated. " ImAmarok there are two four-wheel drives ," said Yves me who knows a real off-road Freak istund the Amarok price list inside out. "A switchable with low range gearing and an automatic. " In Single Cab, there is only selectable. We have the choice between rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive with rigid power distribution and all-wheel drive with gear reduction.

Commercial vehicle diesel with 179 hp

Now on the road, we remain with rear wheel drive. Right at the beginning, it goes from the Adriatic coast up to the Lovćen National Park. The steep switchbacks masters of the twin-turbo diesel with 179 hp and 400 Newton meters without any problems. However, this noise is always a little rough, as we wanted to remind the Amarok: Your sitztin a commercial vehicle. With the 2.0 TDI from VW cars this unit here has nothing to do, it is a speziellerNutzfahrzeug motor, designed to 400,000 kilometers.

The pitfalls of switching

Soon, however, makes us the six-speed transmission to create. Colleague Yves chokes the engine in the first hour viermalab, and I feel after the driver change, not better. We are already thinking about whether we should make a tally to find out who often kills the engine. By a mountain can hardly approach the car. An automated system tells me Yves is anyway better off-road solution, because there is no loss of tractive force. Because although I have also heard other views, but they were then probably control freaks. Shortly after I find out about the VW experts as we should have done:-range gearbox pure, then can approach the thing easier. At the moment, we would have done anything for an automatic. But wait a minute, I ask Yves, why actually automatic? Used VW Amarok not the DSG transmission, which is everywhere else in there? That would be the worst thing you could do, he says. One would be often with a slipping clutch go ?? that would ruin the part very quickly. Commercial vehicles are just different.

The clutch Sorry for the inconvenience gradually

But our clutch Sorry for the inconvenience gradually. By Rumorgeln when starting the part now starts to stink. Yves says, it is too small: If the starting uphill is hard enough when almost unloaded Amarok, how should it work then with a full load? After falling in Single Cab Amarok ample: A ton can zuladen and attach three tons. Now our beast of burden is, so to speak in leisure mode: There is nothing to drag, just a party of pleasure. If I turn around, I see a huge, empty bed. Since I once downloaded a full-grown hybrid bike on a Double Cab, I know how big it is. And the Single Cab loading surface is again 65 inches longer ...

The twofold blessing of the reduction

In the afternoon we finally turn of the road in the Biogradska National Park used.The route leads over rocky roads uphill and downhill, I switch constantly between first and second gear back and forth. One is too short, the other too long. "Take the reduction," advises Yves. I think short, take out of gear and hit "4x4 LOW". When approaching the Wagennun reacts ultra-stubborn, because first gear is now very short. I stop again and probierees in second gear, starting without gas hits now fine. So buttery soft so we had to start at the beginning of the serpentine. Well, you live and learn, even if it is an off-Yves. Soon I notice the second blessing of the reduction: In terrain you can control the speed much easier. Even at 30 km / h I choose between the fourth and fifth gear. And the (optional) rear differential lock? Should we now in terrain not activate? Do you really only when a wheel might lose contact with the ground, told me Yves. The lock then prevents it from rotating, and the power goes nowhere.

Headbanging and Rodeo

On the rough gravel roads I get another lesson in Single Cab: Yves and I bob and plod, hopping and bucking through the landscape that it's been almost a pain. If it is very bumpy, Headbanging is announced, we are no longer our heads quietly halten.Das whole rather feels after Rodeo than after driving. As a test, I switch briefly to a Double Cab. The difference is huge. The single cabin version is just hard, while the Double Cab comparatively paradiesischanfühlt. The reason is visible on the rear axle: natural leaf springs have both versions, but the Double Cab has three steel belts, the Single Cab contrast, four. The heavy-duty suspension is standard on Double Cab So that was with " tough guys " meant,

No Range Rover

The gravel roads provide our Amarok not before problems that river crossings are more likely. 50 centimeters Wat - depth and 19 centimeters ground clearance are good if you compare with a car. But a Landy has been further away from the dirt. And against a Range Rover ?? added a gewagterVergleich ?? Stinks of Amarok from almost. In off-road mode, the Nobel Briton has a wading depth of 90 inches and almost 30 centimeters ground clearance. The Amarok is just more robust artisan car as a real off-roader. As a true tough guys but we feel then again in the evening: We spend the night in the open air in the one-man tent, pure campfire romanticism. Also fits much better to Amarok as a bed in a luxury hotel.

The Land of the Black Mountains

The next day we leave Montenegro, the land of the black mountains. So bleak mountains came before us do not fall in the red-yellow dress. But now there are 14 Amaroks before the lowered barrier. Pairwise we will contact with drivers before the papers feel again like in elementary school. But that the border guards must copy all the data, it happens very quickly. We drive over to the Albanian border, where the passport data are depreciated again. And then listen to derAsphalt ?? welcome to the land of Skipetars. Instead dive on the first one-man bunker. Over 700,000 was derparanoide state and party leader Enver Hoxha in the 70s and 80s build ?? one for every four Albanians. Here indians border region they are tightly packed, but even on the boulevard in Tirana we discover a later.

Beautiful smell of earth after the mud hole

But we are still not in the capital. Yet we head through deep canyons with turquoise rivers, dash through the water holes that meter high fountains shoot up left and right. " Smells nice to ground ," says Yves, as we pass again a mud hole. To his good nose I do not envy Yves, because we could not wash ourselves and have probably stink like polecats. Outside are occasionally women in black skirts on the way to church. And sometimes actually comes by a car. If someone here in the mountains of them, it sure as hell is a dark Mercedes sedan ?? probably has at some point, a returned Foreign raved about the brand.

Viewing angle: 30 degrees, otherwise you go crazy

Correct traffic we then not again in Tirana. "You are only responsible for what is happening in front of you," hattenuns the tour guides said. And indeed: How useful is a 120-degree field of vision in Munich, it tödlichist in Tirana. Here we narrowed denBlickwinkel better at 30 degrees else is crazy and comes from denmehrspurigen roundabouts never wiederheraus.Letztendlich we are glad when wirunseren Single Cab can park on site. He is not as blütenweißwie at the beginning, looks more wieeine warty toad albino, but allesist intact. New costs that thing with 179PS, Manual and zuschaltbaremAllradantrieb 29,435 euros. We tend to recommend the Double Cab with 4Motion - drive and automatic for mindestens35.658 euro. On the road ratio must be doing verzichten.Aber the rock-hard single cab wirklichnur is what all tough guys . ( sl)