Dakar Rally German musician Rudolf Schenker, founder of the hard rock band “The Scorpions” testdrives the brand-new Volkswagen Amarok

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German musician is the first celebrity to test new pick-up

Antofagasta, 9th January 2010. Celebrity visit for Volkswagen Commercial vehicles at the Dakar Rally in Antofagasta (Chile): German musician Rudolf Schenker, founder of the hard rock band “The Scorpions” arrived in South America today to testdrive the brand-new Volkswagen Amarok, Volkswagens pickup. “This car is simply Rock ´n´ Roll“, the guitar player says. Schenker was surprised the Volkswagen Amarok would only need 7,8 liters of Gasoline for 100 kilometres. The artist will drive two days after today to test the pickup for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

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“This is an adventure for me” says Schenker.
”I have always been interested in the Dakar Rally but I have never attended it before”, he explains. He will drive the car over a distance of 1500 kilometres from Antofagasta via Copiapó and La Serena to Santiago de Chile, where he will arrive on Tuesday, January 12th.

Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Member of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles for Development, welcomed Schenker in the drivers-camp in Antofagasta. “We did half of the rally now, that means the Volkswagen Amarok is now “tested by Dakar”. Up to now the vehicle did 8 million test drive kilometres and has been really successful”, Schreiber points out.

At the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles plant, Rudolf Schenker and Scorpions singer Klaus Meine were the first celebrities to be given a sneak preview of the brand-new pickup at the end of last year.
The car will enter the market in South America, Russia, South Africa and Australia first and will be available in Europe from summer 2010.

“The Amarok is super stylish and a real eye-catcher, you just want to climb in and whizz off, it’s a beast of a vehicle,” says Rudolf Schenker.
“For me, a pickup like this stands for adventure, freedom and fun,” the rock musician explains.
And Klaus Meine adds: “I’d travel everywhere in this car, it’s just cool, not flashy or over-the-top, but something for real men.”

The close ties between the Scorpions and Volkswagen go back a long way: following the band’s formation in 1965, a Volkswagen Bus was their first band vehicle.

Rudolf Schenker, who has just published his book “Rock Your Life”, was fired with enthusiasm when he learned that the Volkswagen Amarok was to be the official organisation vehicle at the Dakar Rally. He made a spontaneous offer to Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, to test the pickup during the rest day at the Rally.

Explaining his motivation, the artist said: “This is exactly what my new book is about: seeing life as an adventure, taking on every new challenge and having fun in the process.”

As Official Supplier to the Dakar Rally, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is providing the sports event with a total of 35 vehicles.

Scorpions have produced 22 studio albums in the last 40 years, selling 80 million records and racking up around 100 gold and platinum discs. They number amongst the most globally successful German groups of all time. Their hit “Wind of Change” topped the charts in 11 countries at the beginning of the 1990s. Their world tours have taken them to more than 80 countries to date. Scorpions have a particularly strong fan base in South America, Asia and Eastern Europe, where they fill the big stadiums. At the beginning of this year, they received an “Echo” award for lifetime achievement. Jon Bon Jovi , Metallica and many others once appeared as a support act for the Hanoverian rockers.