SPIED: GAC Trumpchi GS3 spotted testing in Perak – new CKD, RHD B-segment SUV from China; 1.3 turbo? – paultan.org
A new prototype vehicle, identified as the GAC Trumpchi GS3 SUV, has been spotted by reader Enche Ariel undergoing road tests in Perak. The GS3 is a B-segment SUV produced by GAC Group and sold under the Trumpchi brand in China.
If you’re wondering what it’s doing here in Malaysia, well, it’s likely part of a feasibility study resulting from the MoU signing between TC Overseas Assets Holdings Labuan (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tan Chong Motor Holdings) and GAC Motor International. The MoU is valid until July 1, 2021, and includes the possibility of assembling and selling GAC models in Malaysia and Vietnam.
Now, about the SUV. The prototype seen here appears to be a right-hand drive unit. If so, that would make it a first for the GS3 model – the GS3 is not yet available in right-hand drive markets, and there exists no RHD version of it as well. Not homologated ones, at least.
In China, the SUV can be had with two engines. Cheaper models will get a 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 114 PS at 6,000 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. A five-speed manual or six-speed Aisin-sourced automatic transmissions send drive to the front wheels.
The range-topping 200T model is powered by a downsized 1.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine, serving up 137 PS at 5,500 rpm and 202 Nm of torque at 1,500 to 4,200 rpm. The engine is GAC’s in-house, second generation unit. All models are fitted with a 50 litre fuel tank. They are Euro 5 emissions compliant, and the average fuel consumption ranges from 6.5 litres per 100 km for the 1.5L MT to 7.0 litres per 100 km for the turbo variant.
In terms of dimensions, it measures 4,350 mm in length, 1,825 mm wide, 1,655 mm tall (1,680 mm for models with 18-inch wheels), and has a wheelbase of 2,560 mm. That makes it 20 mm longer, 25 mm wider, and up to 71 mm taller than the Proton X50. However, the GS3’s wheelbase is 40 mm shorter than the X50’s, and weighs between 1,315 kg to 1,380 kg depending on the variant. It’s close, then.
Other notable features include McPherson struts for the front suspension, torsion beam suspension for the rear, disc brakes on all four corners, plus electric power steering. In terms of colours, the palette consists of five (in China, at least), those being Ivory White, Mocha Brown, Elegant Black Flame Red, and Beeswax Yellow (pictured above).
For equipment, it appears that the GS3 only comes with halogen projector headlights, while the turbo models gain a pair of LED daytime running lights. LED combination tail lights are standard for all, and fog lamps are available for all but the cheapest variant. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 18 inches, but interestingly, they all come with a space-saver spare tyre. The shark fin antenna (seen here on the camouflaged testers) is also reserved for the top variant only.
Based on GAC Motor’s website, the GS3’s cabin is clearly not to the level of the Geely Binyue/Proton X50. However, there is a light or dark themed option, textured dashboard with stitching, backlit analogue instrumentation with a 3.5-inch LCD multi-info display, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fabric or leather seats, and even second-row air vents (top spec only).
Also available are USB ports for the front and rear, a four- or six-speaker configuration, and an eight-inch touchscreen display with Bluetooth connectivity. All models get a six-way adjustable driver’s seat and four-way powered front passenger seat, plus a 60:40 split and reclining rear bench. The standard boot space is 370 litres, but expands up to 780 litres with the rear seatbacks folded down.
For safety, the standard kit includes three-point seatbelts for all five seats, dual front airbags (top model gets additional side airbags for a total of four), ABS with EBD, electronic stability programme, traction control system, hill-start assist, hill descent control, and Isofix child seat anchor points for the rear seats. No advanced driver assist systems here, and the electronic parking brake with autohold function is reserved only for the most expensive turbo variant.
Now, there are photos of a new GS3 Sport circulating online, a variant which we believe to be the facelifted model. It has yet to be officially launched, but upgrades include a far more aggressive front grille, double projector headlights, nicer shuriken-style dual-tone alloy wheels, plus a Mercedes-esque double LCD display for the instrumentation and infotainment system.
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