GAC Motor Philippines is now handled by Spanish conglomerate Astara, the same company that is handling Peugeot in the country. Alongside the launch of the Empow, the flagship 2023 GAC GS8 has finally been launched, nearly a year after being previewed at the 2022 Manila International Auto Show.
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 20-inch alloy wheel designs. At the back, the GAC GS8 has LED taillights that mimic the vertical layout of the headlights.
Dimensionally, the GS8 measures 4980 mm long, 1950 mm wide, and 1780 mm tall with a 2980 mm wheelbase. This puts it right in line with other midsize crossover SUVs like the Mazda CX-8 or CX-9, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, just to name a few.
Like the Empow, the GS8 rides on the Chinese automaker’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 a 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 7-inch fully digital gauge cluster, and a new 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay but no Android Auto. Some of its other features include a panoramic sunroof, diamond-quilted leather seats, wireless charging, a powered tailgate, power-adjustable and ventilated front seats, and LED ambient lighting.
Powering the 2023 GAC GS8 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 248 hp and 400 Nm of torque. This drives the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Just like the Empow, the GS8 gets a full suite of advanced driver-assistance tech, which ranges from full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and blind spot warning. This comes on top of a 360-degree camera with augmented reality and the usual suite of airbags surrounding the cabin.
The 2023 GAC GS8 is now on sale at all dealers for P2,298,000. It must be noted, however, that this is an introductory price. After March 31, 2023, expect prices to climb up.