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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Plans emerge: GAC approves Emzoom and Emkoo for South Africa

Pair of SUVs will be joined at a later stage by the all-electric Aion Y, although for the moment, an official date of reveal remains unknown.


With little details having emerged since its surprise market entry announcement in January, incoming Chinese marque, Guangzhou Automobile Group – better known by its aberration GAC – has provided first details of the models it will bring to South Africa later this year.

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Its arrival upping the number of brands from the People’s Republic to 10 after Great Wall Motors (GWM) and its Haval division, JAC, BAIC, BYD, Chery and its Omoda and Jaecoo brands, plus most recently LDV, GAC’s initial line-up will comprise a pair of SUVs in the shape of GS3 Emzoom and the coupe-styled Emkoo.

Emzoom

Marketed under the Trumpchi brand in China without any GAC reference, but sold elsewhere as a GAC, the Emzoom will become the brand’s entry-level model with final specification still to be announced.

Set to badged as the GAC Emzoom without the GS3 prefix, the compact five-seater measures 4 410 mm long, 1 850 mm wide and 1 600 mm tall while riding on a 2 650 mm long wheelbase.

GAC details models coming to South Africa
Emzoom’s rear more than resembles that of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Image: GAC via paultan.org

Now in its second generation, which went on-sale in China last year, the Emzoom offers-up between 341-litres to 1 271-litres of boot space and, as in its home market, will touch down on local soil powered by a single powerplant, a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol producing 130kW/270Nm.

Although paired to a five-speed manual gearbox, the option, a seven-speed dual-clutch, is likely to be the sole offering GAC will settle for.

GAC details models coming to South Africa
Emzoom’s interior comes standard with a 10.25-inch infotainment display. Image: GAC

Depending on the trim level, notable specification items available internationally comprises a 10.25-inch infotainment system, a six-speaker sound system, 360-degree surround-view camera, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, Adaptive Cruise Control, dual-zone climate control, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, folding electric mirrors, front and rear armrests, a tyre pressure monitor, Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Traffic Jam Assist and Lane Departure Warning.

Emkoo

At the other end of the spectrum, the Emkoo made its world unveiling towards the latter stages of 2022 as one of the first models to ride on GAC’s GMPA platform that also underpins the Emzoom.

GAC Emkoo approved for South Africa
Emkoo resembles certain Chevrolet crossovers when viewed in profile. Image: GAC

Dramatically styled with the rear resembling that of the original Volvo XC60, the Kia Stinger and the long since discontinued Saab 9-3 SportCombi, the Emkoo also provides seating for five and measures 4 680 mm long, 1 901 mm wide and 1 670 mm tall with its wheelbase stretching 2 750 mm.

Also front-wheel-drive similar to the Emzoom, the Emkoo, again sold under the Trumpchi brand in China, derives motivation from a choice of three engines; the mentioned 1.5-litre turbo-petrol, a more powerful 2.0-litre turbo-petrol developing 188kW/400Nm and finally, a hybrid that combines a normally aspirated version of the latter with an electric motor outputting 134kW/400Nm on its own.

GAC Emkoo approved for South Africa
Rear of the Emkoo has seemingly been styled to pay homage to SportCombi version of the Saab 9-3. Image: GAC

In combined form, the self-charging hybrid setup produces 177 kW fed to the front axle though a Dedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT).

Based on international details, specification, again depending on the trim level, consists of ambient lighting, a 10.1-inch infotainment system, Head-Up Display, push-button start and keyless entry, a six-speaker sound system, a 10.25-inch instrument cluster, electric, heated and ventilated front seats, LED headlights, 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof and a wireless smartphone charger.

GAC Emkoo approved for South Africa
Unique to the Emkoo is a 10.1-inch infotainment display. Image: GAC

Safety is taken care off by front and rear parking sensors, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, a surround-view camera system, tyre pressure monitor, rain sense wipers, Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Traffic Jam Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition System and Lane Keep Assist.

More in due course

“I believe that the South African market represents a compelling opportunity for GAC Motor with its dynamic automotive landscape, coupled with a growing demand for innovation,” former Stellantis South Africa boss and now Managing Director for GAC importer, Salvador Caetano Auto, Leslie Ramsoomar said.

“Positioned strategically as a gateway to the broader African continent, this market holds immense potential for us to establish a strong presence, drive revenue growth, and solidify our position as a key player in the region”.

Despite details still being largely under wraps, expect more to emerge within the coming months after the conclusion of the Auto China Expo that commences next week in Beijing.

Additional information from carnewschina.com.

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