EMPOW55 previously appeared at MIAS 2022

When manufacturers take out their yet-to-be-launched models on the road, chances are it's about to go on sale in the country.

We've seen it recently with the Livina and the Celerio. And now, GAC's challenger to the Civic RS Turbo, the EMPOW55, could be close to its official launch. The GAC sports sedan was spotted by car enthusiast Francis Arjonillo at a gas station somewhere in South Luzon.

Spotted: 2023 GAC EMPOW55 turbo sedan on PH roads image

In case people do not remember, the GAC EMPOW55 was previewed at the 2022 Manila International Auto Show held last April. It definitely caught people's attention at GAC's MIAS booth as it had a long and wide stance, large wheels, and was finished in matte-green paint.

While we were forbidden from having a look at its interior and engine back in MIAS 2022, what we do know is that the EMPOW55 is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 177 PS and 270 Nm of torque – almost identical numbers to what the 11th-generation Civic's turbo powerplant produces.

Spotted: 2023 GAC EMPOW55 turbo sedan on PH roads image

The EMPOW55 is GAC Motor Philippines' official entry into the sports sedan segment, and pitting it against the popular Honda Civic is definitely an interesting battle to look forward to. Not to mention, it's a refreshing sight to have a new sports sedan contender in an increasingly crossover-dominated local market.