GAC's flagship SUV has been in the market for some time now. While it only arrived in the Philippines in late 2018, the model first debuted in 2016. To keep it looking fresh for 2021, GAC has launched the refreshed GS8 in China. Unlike most midcycle refreshes, the changes to the GS8 are quite extensive.
On the outside, the styling updates aren't too drastic. The most obvious visual change would be the new GS8's new front bumper. It has larger intake vents with a chrome trim below the foglights. There's also a more prominent front skidplate finished in silver, giving the SUV a more commanding presence on the road. Unlike the front, the changes to the rear end are less obvious. The bumper was slightly tweaked to emphasize the rear faux skid plate even more. New larger wheels round up the exterior design changes.
Step inside the 2021 GS8 and the changes are night and day. The dashboard has been redesigned, featuring a new center stack with a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system. GAC ditched most of the physical buttons on the center console and placed them in a small slot below the infotainment system. As a result, the cabin looks a lot cleaner.
Even the gear selector was changed to a smaller knob type unit. In front of the driver sits a new three-spoke steering wheel in place of the four-spoke wheel from the pre-facelift model. Top-spec models even have a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an Infinity sound system. For better comfort, new materials have been used on the seats as well.
The other big change to the 2021 GS8 is the engine. Under the hood, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine now produces 252 PS and 390 Nm torque and is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive still comes standard but is available with all-wheel-drive as well. For reference, the current GS8 “only” packs 199 PS and 320 Nm torque.
Other upgrades include more safety systems like autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and even automatic parking, to name a few.
There is no word yet when GAC Philippines will bring in the refreshed GS8. Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long to see the updated flagship SUV at dealerships across the country. But first, we'll have to witness the launch of their new model – the GN6 – coming this February.