Almost exactly three years ago, during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, we had the chance to take a closer look at some of the products of Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), a Chinese automotive manufacturer with plans for a US market launch. There were some pretty nice-looking cars, though, unfortunately, not a single of them has been approved for sale in America yet. For its home market, however, GAC has a new performance vehicle.
Sold under the Trumpchi brand, the Empow is China’s answer to the Honda Civic Si and the likes, or at least this is what our friends at Wheelsboy车轮哥 say in a new video review of the sedan. Our English-speaking Chinese colleagues were also kind enough to share an exclusive gallery of the vehicle with us and you can find it in the attached gallery below.
Gallery: GAC Empow
The Empow is an affordable sporty sedan, which has a rather interesting design. It looks like a mix between Lexus, Hyundai/Kia, and even Mercedes-Benz design cues, just to name a few. You might find inspiration from other popular brands too, though nothing stands out as a clear reference to an existing vehicle. Well done, GAC.
Don’t let the quad exhaust pipes at the back deceive you - there’s a modest 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline turbocharged engine under the hood. It is good for 177 horsepower (132 kilowatts) and 200 pound-feet (270 Newton-meters) of torque and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. On paper, it should be capable of 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) sprints in relatively decent 7.0 seconds. But what’s the feeling behind the steering wheel?
The host of the Wheelsboy channel explains the car feels “quick in everyday driving” but the steering is lighter than most of its competitors. There’s a proper soundtrack in the cabin but it turns out it is fake - the exhaust note is enhanced by the audio system’s speakers and is not actually natural. Still, are there enough reasons to like this sporty sedan? The video at the top of this page has the answers and below, you can check out our First Drive Review of the 2022 Honda Civic Si.