GAC is having a very busy 2023. We consider GAC to be a real up-and-coming brand here in the Philippine market, especially since Astara just took over the distributor business of the brand.
They’re actually really investing in reinvigorating GAC here, and that’s always a good thing. They’re hiring key executives to bring their experience to boost the profile of GAC in the industry and with customers. And we’re seeing that in one major aspect: the products.
Just recently GAC launched the GS8 SUV which impressed us with its quality, design, drive, and that massive screen. They also launched the Empow; the review of it you will see and read about soon enough.
But they’ve got one more, and we’ll say it’s going to be a major one: a brand new crossover SUV that will be along the lines of Tucson, CRV, or RAV4, but will have the price of something like an Azkarra or Territory.
Curious? Well, that’s what the GAC Emkoo is going to offer.
Some very well-placed sources tell us that GAC is planning to launch the Emkoo at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) happening next month at WTC. From what we understand, it will be something of a photo finish because of shipping, but hopefully, it goes all according to plan.
What makes the Emkoo interesting is the design inside and out. The rear is like nothing we’ve seen before, but that front end is certainly different. Oddly enough the headlight seems to have some striking similarities to the recent designs of Peugeot (which is also handled by Astara here). It’s probably a coincidence because GAC’s designs have started to really progress as we’ve seen with the GS8 and Empow.
From what we understand, this Emkoo is very long for its class at 4.68 meters and very wide too at 1.9. That makes it very much capable of being a seven-seater like the CR-V, though the whispers we’ve been getting is that GAC will only bring in the 5-seater model for now.
As with many other Chinese-made models, this will have a 1.5-liter turbo gasoline engine. The 1.5L displacement is not a coincidence, as that engine size allows it to maximize the lower tariff for CBU models from China. The 1.5 TGDI in the Emkoo is similar (if not identical) to the one in the Empow.
We’ve also been told that GAC may have 2 variants of the Emkoo, both of which will have the 1.5L turbo. If the Emkoo is successful, they may launch a third one: a hybrid. That one will have a 2.0L engine and a hybrid electric system that was co-developed with Toyota. Over in China, Toyota is one of GAC’s partners in a joint venture. They also have a JV with Honda and Mitsubishi.
That’s all the information we have for now. Hopefully, GAC doesn’t experience delays with the arrival of the Emkoo because we’re sure a lot of customers are looking forward to seeing it at MIAS. Fingers crossed then.