Cars > Launch

GAC Motor PH launches Empow and 2nd-generation GS8

The sedan starts at P1.135 million, while the SUV is P2.298 million

After many months of waiting, these two are finally official. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

You could say that the brief history of the GAC Empow and the second-generation GS8 leading up to their eventual launch today has been nothing short of mysterious.

After being previewed at the 2022 Manila International Auto Show under its previous distributor, news of the two cars disappeared. Now, under its new distributor (Astara), we finally get a confirmation of the specifications and the prices.

We're happy that manufacturers are bringing back sporty sedans. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

First up is the Empow sedan. It’s always nice to see automakers release cars oriented for the enthusiast.

The Empow stands out from other sedans thanks to its sporty looks with sharp, angular lines that make it look like something you’d expect from a German manufacturer. It rides on 18-inch wheels (17-inch rims for the lower variants), has full LED lighting all around, and also has quad exhaust tips at the back for those who spring for the top-of-the-line trim.

This is just the mid-spec trim of the Empow, and it already looks very fancy. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The cabin is just as sporty with leather upholstery and carbon-fiber accents on the dashboard and the door cards, with fighter-jet-inspired seats and switchgear.

It features a seven-inch digital instrument cluster panel and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay support (oddly without Android Auto). Other niceties include a power sunroof, dual-zone climate controls with an air purifier, and a power front seat.

It also has six airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, and driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking, and traffic jam assist.

This engine will empower you with its healthy power output. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

It’s propelled by a 1.5-liter Mega Wave Power turbocharged in-line-four gasoline engine mated to a seven-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission. This car’s power output is a healthy 168hp and 270Nm, with a 0-100km/h time of 6.95 seconds.

The Empow’s color choices will range from Matte Fighter Green (GE only), Ivory White, Moonlight Gray, and Elegant Black (GB only).  It will come in three trims: GE, GB, and GS. It will have special introductory prices until March 31:

  • 1.5L GE DCT – P1,283,000
  • 1.5L GB DCT – P1,215,000
  • 1.5L GS DCT – P1,135,000

Units of the GS and the GB are already in the country, with the GE coming in by next month.

Believe it or not, you're looking at something priced under P2.5 million. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

As for the flagship GS8 seven-seater SUV, its cutting-edge, sharp looks (literally) are the biggest eye-catcher, with an imposing grille and looks that can stand toe-to-toe with its European competitors.

With quad-LED headlights and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, the car has a design that is just as functional as it is visually stunning.

It's crazy to see just how far the Chinese have come with interior quality. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The cabin gains the biggest overhaul, feeling more like an executive lounge on wheels now. You have leather upholstery everywhere with quilting on the seats, and said seats have power adjustments and memory settings for both the driver and the passenger.

Front and center are a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a massive 14.6-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay support. There are also four USB-A ports with a wireless charging pad.

It also excels in practicality aside from luxury. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The cabin has other goodies like three-zone climate control, multicolor ambient lighting, and a panoramic sunroof for added luxury.

In terms of safety and driver assistance features, the vehicle also has an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors with a 360° camera, and traffic jam assist.

The GS8 only comes in one variant, which is front-wheel-driven. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

It’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It now has 248hp and 400Nm, sending it all to the front wheels with the Megastar chassis for improved ride quality and handling.

There is only one variant—the 4×2 GT. The GS8 will come in four colors: Ink Seal Green, Crystal White, Moonlight Gray, and Elegant Black.

Like the Empow, it, too, will come with a special introductory price of P2,298,000 until March 31.

Both the Empow and the GS8 come with a five-year warranty.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.