Empow R has 265 horsepower with bigger 2.0-liter turbo
Just when we thought the top-spec Empow GE unveiled at last week's MIAS was GAC's main sports sedan contender, it turns out they could turn up the heat a lot more.
Making its debut at the 2023 Auto Shanghai is the GAC Empow R. And yes, just like other brands that have an R suffix, it's the high-performance version of the Empow sedan with a bigger engine and a more aggressive look.
For starters, the Empow R's front fascia looks different from the now-standard Empow models, as it has a pair of large side intakes, as well as a trim that divides the two central grilles. This design reminds us of how Toyota treated the GR Yaris' front end. Of course with GAC, it gets an R badge of its own.
There's a busier rear bumper that consists of a bigger diffuser element, and the skirts are a lot chunkier than the standard Empow. The wheels look much bigger than what the top-spec GE has, and GAC added a rear spoiler as an aero element to keep the Empow R planted through high speeds.
Inside, the full LCD instrument panel appears to have racing-inspired graphics, plus digital gauges that display vital engine statistics like turbo pressure, engine oil temperature, oil pressure, water temperature, and intake air temps.
GAC also fitted sports seats to the Empow R, which feature the R logo embossed on the seat headrest. It looks to have the bolsters and lumbar support of a dedicated racing bucket seat.
Meanwhile, instead of the 1.5 turbo unit from the Empow GE, powering the GAC Empow R is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four that produces 265 horsepower and a whopping 400 Nm of torque. The bigger engine is mated to a sport-tuned 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
As for its acceleration figures, GAC has not released information yet. But given its hotter appointments, the Empow R could be one fun sports sedan to drive on the track. Do we think it has what it takes to rival the Civic Type R? Well, our guess is as good as yours. Let us know what you think in the comments.