GAC was the final brand to pull the covers off their upcoming rides yesterday at the Manila International Auto Show. What made GAC’s showcase interesting though was that they weren’t officially-launched cars. What they revealed were just “previews” of cars that are going to be launched sometime this year.
Specifically, the models they showed off are the second generation GS8 SUV and the (curiously) named EMPOW55 performance sedan.
Let’s start with the GS8, the front fascia has been heavily updated and now features what GAC calls the “Flying Dynamic 4.0” grille design (also known as Dragon Scale Wing). Flanking the massive grille are the “Conquering Eyes” full-LED headlights, that have Adaptive Driving Beam and High Beam Assist.
The GS8 also has a floating roof design, red diamond taillights, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Since the GS8 displayed is a preview model, we weren’t allowed to open the doors and take a peek inside. However, according to GAC, the GS8 will get a 12.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 14.6-inch center LED touchscreen system with phone mirroring capabilities. The gear shift knob is adorned with a crystal handle. The seats of the GS8 are power-adjustable and decked out in quilted leather material.
Powering the GS8 is a 2.0L Mega Wave Power engine that makes 251PS and 400Nm of torque. It is paired with an Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission and power is sent to all four wheels via a BorgWarner intelligent four-wheel-drive system.
In terms of safety, the GS8 comes with a whole host of standard safety tech common in modern vehicles. Though, there is one notable feature called the Adaptive Vehicle Dynamic Control (AVDC). This technology (according to GAC) is capable of recognizing the expertise of the driver, and the type of road condition. This allows the system to aid the driver on slippery surfaces by controlling the engine torque and adjusting the four-wheel-drive system.
The “star” of the GAC booth is undoubtedly the striking EMPOW55 sedan. The EMPOW55 was first previewed as a concept during the 2020 Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition.
The GAC EMPOW55 is the brand’s first foray into the sports sedan segment, and the first model to use GAC’s GPMA (Global Platform Modular Architecture) Platform. Its striking looks also serve a purpose, the EMPOW55 is capable of achieving a claimed drag coefficient of 0.26, which enables lower fuel consumption and better overall aerodynamics.
The front features the large “Mecha” grille that has double-sided blade air curtains that help improve engine cooling and ventilation. The EMPOW55 also has a quad-exhaust system (the sound can be turned on or off as well). The also sedan gets 18-inch alloy wheels, a high-performance rear-deflector, a sloping rear windshield, and LED taillights.
Under the hood of the EMPOW55 is a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 175PS and 270Nm of torque. The transmission is a 7-speed wet dual-clutch unit. GAC claims it can accelerate to 100km/h in 6.95 seconds.
The EMPOW55 has 4+X driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+), the “X” in the driving modes refers to the 8 customizable functions such as airconditioning, acceleration pedal, dashboard, power system, ambient light, steering, exhaust sound, and ESP speed.
Technologically speaking, the EMPOW55 is the first model to feature the ADiGO 3.0 smart driving system. ADiGO is there to help ease the fatigue of the driver (no specific details on how).
One neat feature of the EMPOW55 is the intelligent identification driving system that includes gesture control. The system can automatically open the windows and adjust the air condition temperature if the vehicle detects a driver or occupant is smoking. The EMPOW55’s system can also automatically adjust the audio volume if a driver or passenger takes a call, and the seats can also apparently adjust automatically through the drivers’ identity through a facial scan.
Again, the GS8 and EMPOW55 sedan were merely previewed, the specifications and features mentioned are based on what GAC has said, although the actual units that will be sold here may vary. We’ll have to wait and see once the actual launch takes place.