GAC greets 2023 with a bang with launch of EMPOW and all-new GS8


GAC Motor Philippines is starting 2023 pretty aggressively. Now under new management, Astara, the brand has just launched not one but two models today. At the forefront is the sleek and sporty EMPOW, and following it is the all-new full-size SUV, the GS8. After the launch announcement made in December last year, we finally see both models in the metal.

2023 Gac Empow Rear Exterior

GAC EMPOW: “Set to conquer”

“Bold and original” is how the brand describes its newest sedan offering, the EMPOW. We won’t say those are understatements.

On the outside, it’s equipped with 18″ alloy wheels, extended rear taillight units, LED DRLs, LED headlights, and taking center stage up front is its oversized front grill. Normally such a design would look very out of place, but not on the EMPOW; it greatly accentuates the vehicle’s sharp, angular design and makes it looks both futuristic and aggressive.

2023 Gac Empow Dashboard Interior

Inside, the sporty design continues. With its fighter jet-inspired seats, the leather panels and the use of carbon fiber in the cabin all add to a very premium interior. It also features a 7-inch digital gauge cluster as well as a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Other highlights include the multifunction steering wheel, paddle shifters, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a negative ion air purifier, and a power sunroof.

2023 Gac Empow Side Profile

Safety features of the EMPOW include six airbags, as well as top-notch additions such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), and High Beam Assist.

2023 Gac Empow Engine

Power is provided by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. Putting out 168 HP and 270 Nm of torque, this mill is mated to a 7-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission and rockets the EMPOW from 0-100 km/h in just 6.95 seconds. That is the fastest acceleration of any compact sedan in its segment.

There will be three variants of the EMPOW available, along with the following special introductory prices points and colors:

• 1.5L GE DCT, PHP 1,283,000, Matte Fighter Green (exclusive color)
• 1.5L GB DCT, PHP 1,215,000, Ivory White, Moonlight Grey, and Elegant Black
• 1.5L GS DCT, PHP 1,135,000, Ivory White, and Moonlight Grey

These introductory prices will be valid until March 31, 2023.

2023 Gac Gs8 Front Main Exterior

All-new GAC GS8: “Power and prestige”

As the brand’s flagship SUV, the GS8 has been updated to an all-new model and wants “to bring prestige to premium buyers”.

The full-size 7-seater SUV’s exterior design has both a robust appearance and an executive look to it. The strong V-shaped chrome grill takes on a symmetrical layout giving it a much welcome and aggressive presence. The model’s signature 4-bulb metric automatic LED headlights and its LED DRLs perfectly complement the grill as well. Double chrome exhaust pipes and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels complete the outside look.

2023 Gac Gs8 Dashboard Interior

On the interior, finely crafted leather with diamond stitching is the upholstery of choice for the GS8. The main highlights, though, come in a pretty long list. Power adjust and memory settings for both front seats, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, an electrochromic rearview mirror, three-zone automatic air conditioning, and one-touch power windows all add comfort and luxury to this SUV. The GS8 also comes with a 7-inch digital gauge cluster and a massive 14.6-inch digital infotainment screen.

2023 Gac Gs8 Second Row Passenger Interior

In terms of safety, the list is extensive. Ready? Multiple airbags, ISOFIX child safety seat anchors, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Front & Rear Parking Sensors with HD Surround Vision Parking System, and Traffic Jam Assist.

2023 Gac Gs8 Engine

Under the hood sits a 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine that makes 248 HP and 400 Nm of torque. It’s paired with the brand’s third-generation 8-speed automatic transmission that makes for smooth shifting and balanced power.

2023 Gac Gs8 Rear Exterior

There will only be one variant for the GS8, and will come in the following colors and a special introductory price:

• 2.0 Turbo, PHP 2,298,000, Ink Seal Green, Crystal White, Moonlight Grey, and Elegant Black.

The introductory price will only be held until March 31, 2023, as well.

Big things are slated for GAC in the Philippines. Now under the banner of the Astara distributorship, this is a very strong start, indeed.

“We’re thrilled to start the year on a high note with the highly-anticipated launch of the EMPOW and all-new GS8. Both vehicles represent the best that GAC has to offer at a reasonable price range for our Filipino customers. We are determined to reinvigorate the brand and achieve outstanding performance in the market beginning this year,” said Raoul Picello, Astara Philippines Managing Director.

To add to that, “Our first year in the Philippines was remarkable with Peugeot as our first brand. Now, with GAC Motor added to our portfolio, we are excited to bring more value to our Filipino customers. With Astara’s global strength and track record in car distribution and mobility services, we hope to achieve great success for GAC Motor as we have done in Latin America,” said Jorge Belzunce, Astara Managing Director for Southern Europe and the Philippines.

2023 Gac Gs8 Exterior Side Profile

GAC has always been quite impressive from the start, but the reality is that there hasn’t been much traction in the Philippines as there should have been. Now, it seems that everything is headed in the right direction. Will the launch of these two new models serve as a springboard for a strong resurgence into the PH market? We’ll have to wait and see.

But if our past experiences with the brand’s vehicles are anything to go by, they might just have a very good thing going on. That said, we’re very eager to put both these models to the test. Along with you, our dear readers, we hope we don’t have to wait too long to get our hands on them. Curious, yes, we are. Excited, most definitely. And you should be, too.

Mikko Juangco
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