After previewing the SUV at the 2022 Philippine International Motor Show, GAC officially launches the second generation of the GS8 nameplate in the Philippines, alongside it is the all-new Empow compact sedan.
The GS8 SUV arrives in the Philippine market bearing fresh looks, a luxurious interior, and a new, more powerful 2.0-liter TGDI engine. Meanwhile, the all-new Empow sedan is a sporty compact sedan featuring a turbocharged engine paired with a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.
The GS8 SUV comes in only one variant, the 2.0-liter GT model. On the other hand, the Empow will have three variants in the lineup which include the GS, GB, and GE.
The GS8’s exterior has been redesigned. Starting at the front, the front fascia is treated to a complete makeover, the new GS8 has a larger square grille flanked by the two vertical headlights reminiscent of the old model. Below the grille is a thick bumper with a silver-colored lip, complementing the shape of the front fascia and giving the GS8 a stocky, chiseled jaw that looks great for a car its size.
Moving to the side, the GS8’s wheel wells are accentuated by black cladding. In those wheel wells, you’ll find large 20-inch two-tone alloys, with the large main spokes sporting a silver color complemented by the smaller black-colored spokes in between them. These add more heft to the already beefy silhouette that GS8 has,
Alongside the muscular GS8 is the sleek, compact Empow. The Empow sports an aggressive front fascia, with the main feature being its large grille and sharp headlights. At the bottom of the grille is a slim front lip that is flanked at the sides by two vertical air vents. At the side of the Empow, it has a noticeable line that starts at the front wheel well and gradually goes up to the rear, adding to the smooth design of the vehicle. Adding to the sporty credentials of the Empow are large two-tone 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels and quad exhaust pipes at the rear.
Interior and Technology
The GS8 has a luxurious interior, generously appointed with leather and gadgets.
On the dashboard is a 7-inch instrument cluster alongside a massive 14.6-inch HD touchscreen display. Other features that can be found inside the GS8 are a wireless charging pad, three-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and multi-color intelligent ambient lighting.
Inside the Empow, it's much the same story. Leather is used all throughout the inside giving the Empow an upmarket atmosphere. A seven-inch digital instrument cluster sits at the front of the wheel while a 10.25-inch infotainment display is mounted on the dash, this infotainment system comes with Apple Carplay connectivity. Other things you’ll find inside include a power sunroof, dual-zone climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, multiple USB-A ports, and a built-in negative ion air purifier.
Engine and Suspension
Under the hood of the GS8 is a 2.0-liter TGDI engine with an output of 248 horsepower and 400 nm of torque, all this power is delivered to the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Drivers get a choice of three driving modes: Eco, Comfort, and Sport.
A McPherson-type independent suspension setup is at the front of the GS8, while the rear gets a Multi-link beam independent suspension setup.
Meanwhile, the Empow gets a 1.5-liter turbo engine capable of 168 horsepower and 270 nm of torque. This engine is mated to a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission. Much like the GS8, the front suspension of the Empow is McPherson-type independent suspension setup along with a Multi-link beam independent suspension setup for the rear.
The new GS8 is currently only available with one variant. GAC announced that the GS8 will cost P2.398 million, but a special P100,000 introductory discount is on offer until March 31, 2023. The GS8 is available in the following color options: Ink Seal Green, Crystal White, Moonlight Grey, and Elegant Black.
As for the Empow, the introductory price starts at P1,135,000 for the GS variant, the GB variant will cost P1,215,000, and finally, the top-end GS is priced at P1,283,000. The Empow will be available in four color options: Elegant Black, Ivory White, Moonlight Gray, and Matte Fighter Green, which will only be available for the GS variant. Like the GS8, these prices are only available until March 31, 2023.