GAC Motor Philippines used the 2022 Manila International Auto Show as a venue to preview two upcoming new vehicles. The first one is the Empow sports sedan, while the other one is the flagship GAC GS8 midsize premium SUV.
When this debuted globally last year, the all-new GAC GS8 was interesting for one major reason. That’s because the all-new 2022 GAC GS8 is now available in two powertrain choices. The first one is a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine that produces 252 hp and 400 Nm of torque, and this is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission from Aisin.
The second powertrain choice is the interesting one. It’s a hybrid, and it comes from Toyota, one of GAC’s local joint venture partners in China. The Toyota Hybrid System (or THS) is mated to a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine made by GAC Motor, and the total system output is 245 hp.
In terms of its design, the exterior maintains the boxy and rugged look of the previous model. Upfront, you get tall, vertical LED headlights flanking the new massive grille that features a new design language called “Dragon Scale Wing”. There’s also a completely new set of alloy wheel designs. At the back, the GAC GS8 has LED taillights that mimic the vertical layout of the headlights.
The all-new GAC GS8 rides on the brand’s new Global Platform Modular Architecture, specifically, the GPMA-L that’s meant for larger vehicles. It is a highly rigid unibody architecture that features fully independent multi-link rear suspension and a MacPherson strut front suspension. If our experience with the all-new GS4 compact SUV is any indication, then we expect the GS8 to be an extremely well-engineered SUV.
Whereas the exterior is more evolutionary, the interior is a completely different story. It looks completely different from the model it replaces, looking far more premium and upscale than ever before. There’s also a host of new tech features as well, including a 12.25-inch fully digital gauge cluster, and a new 14.6-inch touch screen infotainment system. Higher-end models feature an audio system by Alpine, while three seating configurations are available depending on the variant. Buyers can choose between five, seven, or six-seater arrangements, with the six-seater model having second-row captain’s chairs.
The all-new GAC GS8 still has no final launch date, though just like the Empow, we expect the GS8 to go on sale in 2023. If you’re keen on seeing how the GS8 looks like in person, better head to the GAC Motor booth at the 2022 Manila International Auto Show, which runs until April 10, 2022.