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2023 GAC GS3 confirmed for Malaysia – CKD next-gen B-SUV X50, HR-V rival with 1.5T, 177 hp, 270 Nm, 7DCT

2023 GAC GS3 confirmed for Malaysia – CKD next-gen B-SUV X50, HR-V rival with 1.5T, 177 hp, 270 Nm, 7DCT

Earlier today, GAC Motor and WTC Automotif (WTCA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Warisan TC Holdings (a Tan Chong Group company), officially announced a CKD project that will see GAC cars roll out from Tan Chong’s Segambut plant in April 2024, with sales starting from the middle of next year.

It’s a big milestone for GAC, as this is the Guangzhou-based state-owned carmaker’s first ever CKD project outside of China. The first local fruit of this marriage is the next-generation GAC GS3, not to be confused with the GS3 that was launched locally in late 2021. The upcoming B-segment SUV is world’s apart from today’s GS3, inside and outside. Let’s take a closer look.

Called the Trumpchi GS3 in China, this is a fresh product which pre-sales only started in February. Sitting on the company’s latest GPMA platform, the B-segment SUV top hat measures 4,410 mm long and 1,850 mm wide, with a 2,650 mm wheelbase. That’s 52 mm longer and 25 mm wider than the outgoing GS3, and the new car’s wheelbase is much longer, by 90 mm. It’s a fair bit lower too, improving proportions significantly.

Compared to its Chinese peer with a Malaysian badge – the Proton X50 – the GS3 is 80 mm longer, 50 mm wider and 9 mm lower, with a 50 mm longer wheelbase.

You’d have noticed that the new GS3 wears very sharp styling (and lots of geometric shapes) to go with its rather sporty proportions. The matte-bodied car with orange highlights you see here is the domestic ‘R-Style’ version, which also gets a huge rear diffuser with twin central pipes. Very eye-catching, but perhaps a bit over the top. Check out the more balanced standard version in the gallery below.

Like the X50, Honda HR-V and soon to be launched Chery Omoda 5, the new GS3 is powered by a 1.5 litre turbo engine. The four-pot unit puts out 177 hp and 270 Nm of torque from 1,400 to 4,500 rpm. WTCA calls the latter segment-leading – the X50 Flagship’s TGDi three-pot makes 255 Nm, the HR-V’s VTEC Turbo gets 240 Nm, while the Omoda 5 makes do with 230 Nm.

The transmission is a seven-speed DCT, which matches the X50. Drive goes to the front wheels, of course, and the 0-100 km/h sprint time is reported to be 7.5 seconds. Average fuel consumption in China’s domestic cycle is 6.8 litres per 100 km (14.7 km/l).

By the way, this 1.5T DCT combo is a huge leap from the outgoing GS3, which is powered by a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine (114 PS/150 Nm) and six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.

The GS3’s interior is as exactly what you’d expect if you’re familiar with Chinese SUVs – modern and minimalist, but generic. It ticks all the contemporary design boxes – a horizontal layout, co-joined double screens, high centre console and a small notch of a gear selector. One thing I’ve noticed (and like) about today’s Chinese cars is their bold approach with interior colours – there’s a blue themed example in the gallery below – but Malaysian buyers are very safe.

Specs wise, it’s still very early days for the CKD project, but aside from the 1.5T DCT powertrain, the only other detail confirmed for Malaysia is that we’ll get a Level 2 ADAS suite. Aside from the X50 and HR-V, GAC and WTCA must also look at the Chery Omoda 5, which will be launching in June/July with a long list of kit and a price tag between the Proton and Honda.

The CKD GAC GS3 will hit local showrooms mid-2024 – for now, what do you think of its design and specs? More on the GAC-WTCA partnership and plans here.

GALLERY: 2023 GAC GS3, China spec

GALLERY: 2022 GAC GS3 Premium, Malaysia spec

The post 2023 GAC GS3 confirmed for Malaysia – CKD next-gen B-SUV X50, HR-V rival with 1.5T, 177 hp, 270 Nm, 7DCT appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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