The little diesel bellows in low gear. Soft sand stymies its momentum nearing the peak of the three-storey-high desert dune. And the dashboard fuel readout briefly nudges 50.0 litres per 100km. This is not a good look midway through a fuel economy run. This is not, however, a conventional economy gig. We keep the foot planted on dune pickups in dubai.
The 2.0-litre twin-turbo oiler in the VW Amarok has plenty in reserve. Its 4Motion all-wheel drive is programmed to propel us through the toughest desert dunes and dubai’s soft roads. Over the crest and off the throttle with hill descent engaged, the consumption readout drops to low single figures. As this is the Simpson Desert, with hundreds of dunes to cross, there’s still the matter of reaching the next diesel bowser in Birdsville.