This new GAC compact crossover will be setting its sights firmly on Proton’s X50 when it arrives in Q2 2024.
Having recently reported for it to have begun local assembly over here, it was only a matter of time before official word of this Chinese compact crossover’s arrival was to be made public. And that time appears to have since finally come, as WTC Automotif has recently announced that the GAC GS3 Enzoom finally now available for pre-order in Malaysia with a booking fee of RM 1,000.
Incidentally the second iteration of GS3 to be launched locally (with its predecessor having actually made it’s rather low key debut over here back in 2021), this new Chinese compact crossover is set to do battle primarily with Proton’s X50 when it eventually begins rolling off Tan Chong’s Segambut production line come the second quarter of 2024. The retail price for this new Honda HR-V (or Chery Omoda) alternative is currently speculated to start from below the RM 130k mark, with two variants set to be offered from launch.
Now unfortunately, further details regarding the difference between the Exclusive and Premium-R trims are as yet unclear. What can nevertheless be confirmed is for both variants of this rather stylish compact crossover to net what GAC dubs a ‘Flying Mecha’ front fascia, which consists of its unique angular frameless grille flanked by a set of equally-angular and slim Laser Eye Split LED headlights.
These angular lines and creases continue further on from the front towards the rear, with the profile of this compact crossover complimented by flush-fitting door handles and 18-inch alloy wheels. A set of angular LED 3D-effect Light Dart tail light clusters is joined by a small ducktail-style spoiler moulded into the rump, which is then topped off by another an aggressive-looking spoiler mounted to its roof.
Rather interestingly in spite of its visually compact look, the GS3 actually comes in at 4,410 mm long and 1,850 mm wide, with a 2,650 mm wheelbase. This therefore makes it some 80 mm longer, 50 mm wider and 9 mm lower, with a 50 mm longer wheelbase than the Proton X50.
Touching on what lies under the hood now, driving the front wheels of this upcoming GS3 is a 1.5 litre turbo four-cylinder via seven-speed (wet) dual-clutch transmission. The aforementioned boosted four-banger is to be rated at 177 hp and 270 Nm of torque, which in turn is apparently good for a century sprint time of 7.5 seconds and a fuel consumption figure of 5.9l/100 km (17 km/l).
Stepping inside meanwhile, the GS3 Enzoom features a dual-tone interior that is accented with a Crystal Shift Gear Selector. And while not explicitly stated too, within the cabin of this Chinese compact crossover will be among other kit a twin-screen digital instrument cluster and central infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, automatic climate control with rear vents, as well as a powered tailgate.
For its local debut, GAC will be offering the GS3 Enzoom in four exterior hue options: Ivory White, Starlight Silver, Lake Blue and Graphene Grey. Interested parties are currently invited to get an exclusive preview of this new compact crossover at the automaker’s upcoming roving activation event at Klang Valley from 2nd to 8th February 2024, with the first 100 orders placed to receive an exclusive invite to a private launch event in the near future.
While on the topic of the near future too, GAC aims to complement the launch of the new GS3 Enzoom with the subsequent local debut of its larger Emkoo and all-electric Aion Y Plus. The brand’s first showroom is set for opening by the end of February, while a further five showrooms will be opened within the first half of 2024 in Glenmarie, Cyberjaya, Seremban, Johor Bahru and Penang.