The GAC Trumpchy GS8 looks like the Chinese Equivalent of Toyota Land Cruiser 200. It even uses some of its hybrid Technologyby Dim Angelov, on LISTEN 05:07
If 10 years ago someone had told me that Chinese car manufacturers are coming up with high-end products, I would have laughed hard. Nowadays, things have changed a bit, as Chinese companies are pouring billions for research and development purposes. Really, it proves that a product is only as good as the amount of investment poured into its development. This seems to be the case with the GAC Trumpchi GS8 – the latest full-size SUV from China.
2022 GAC GS8: The Chinese Full-Size SUV That Borrows Technology From Lexus
The SUV was recently unveiled and fellow journalists from China have already managed to get a sneak peek at the GS8. They even managed to take a look at the interior, but more importantly, we also know some of the drivetrain specs.
Performance & Drivetrain
So far, two powertrains are available for the GS8. The base one features a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that makes 252 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Nm). Power, however, goes to the front wheels only. That said, the new GS8 swaps the old six-speed automatic for a new eight-speed unit from Aisin.
|Engine||2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four|
The new GPMA platform, which features a multilink rear suspension, does allow for all-wheel-drive capability, but the base version will not receive it. The hybrid version of the SUV, on the other hand, will feature 4X4, thanks to the Chinese company’s partnership with Toyota. The hybrid GS8 features Toyota’s Hybrid System (THS), with the difference being the internal combustion engine, which is Chinese.
In this case, the front axle is still being driven by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine, but with 190 horsepower. Toyota’s hybrid system comes into play at the rear axle, where an electric motor with 54 horsepower will be put to work.
The Chinese full-size SUV looks formidable, as the boxy design looks like a mix of Cadillac Escalade, Toyota Land Cruiser 200, and Hyundai Palisade. The big center grille is a trendy design feature, but the GAC GS8 has taken it even further. Actually, we see two different front-end designs.
The first one features an uninterrupted grille design that spans from the hood to the bottom section of the front fascia. In the second design, the grille stops at the same level as the headlights. At this point, it is not clear whether the different designs correspond to the hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the vehicle.
On the side, we see lots of clean surfaces, with little in the way of crests and curves. The same design language continues at the back where we see Range Rover-like taillights (we are not implying they were copied) and dual tailpipes, subtly integrated into the rear diffuser.
The GS8 also boasts a highly digitalized interior, featuring a 12.25-inch digital instrument cluster, flanked by a 14.6-inch center touchscreen, which would control almost all functions of the car. This essentially removes the need from physical buttons, but don’t worry, you still have indicator and wiper stalks, as well as a proper gear-selector.
The GAC GS8 interior also seems to feature a floating lower center console. The entire under-area can be used to wirelessly charge multiple devices. The interior looks nicely finished and this particular car seems to feature a half-leather interior, which also extends towards the dashboard. The Trumpchi GS8 will come as a seven-seater, courtesy of third-row seats.
Price & Availability
The GAC Trumpchi GS8 was recently unveiled and on its home market, it will have a starting price of ¥ 158,000 ($24,450). Depending on what spec you go for, it can go up to ¥192,800 ($29,832). The GAC Trumpchi GS8 will not be exclusive to China, as it will be sold in other markets. Whether the US will be one of those markets is not yet known, although the name might put off some potential buyers, especially if the SUV is offered in orange.
Until now, Chinese manufacturing has been mostly associated with mass-production and quantity over quality philosophy. However, there’s no denying the sheer progress China’s automotive industry has been marking over the past decade. We now have long-range EVs and even super EVs that are developed by Chinese companies Not to mention more and more mainstream brands are partially or fully owned by Chinese companies or are partnering with them.
GAC’s GS8 is the latest example, as it utilizes proven hybrid technology from Toyota. At least on paper, the Trumpchi GS8 embodies the company’s ability to pour enough resources into developing a high-end product, as well as the prudence to approach a company with a proven history of reliable, sustainable hybrid powertrains. That said, only time will tell if the GAC GS8 will prove to be a worthy competitor to the more established players in the SUV segment.