GWM Ora Cat: The ID.3 alternative from China

It wasn’t that long ago chinese cars in europe smiled at. But the time of the bold copies with the cheapest material appearance should come to an end. Presented at the IAA in Munich (September 7th to 12th) Great Wall Motors (GWM) two new brands that are set to gain a foothold in Europe. In addition to the premium brand Wey (click here for a seat sample in the Coffee 01 SUV), the brand is also making its debut pure electrical brand GWM Ora. The debut model bears the somewhat strange name Ora Cat and should compete with VW ID.3 and others!
Just a few weeks ago, GWM Ora unveiled the Ora Punk Cat at the Shanghai Auto Show 2021. The Punk Cat is still a prototype, but the design is more than obviously copied from the VW Beetle. The days of bold copies do not seem to be over yet. With the first model for the European market I would like GWM take a different path. According to its own statement, the Ora Cat should Potential to become a game changer to have. The first seat sample at the IAA Mobility in Munich (The Tops & Flops of the fair) will clarify whether this is really true!

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Retro look instead of futuristic design

Compared to many futuristic-looking electric cars, the Ora Cat on retro design with smooth lines. The round headlights have matrix LED technology and are reminiscent of Mini. The profile of the Ora Cat, which has been marketed in China under the name Ora Haomao since 2020, bears a certain resemblance to the Opel Adam. The wheel arch extensions of the GT version in fake carbon are a matter of taste. Just like that unusually styled rear that does without taillights in the trunk lid. Instead, a continuous strip of light is placed in the rear window. Reflectors and reversing lights are located in the rear apron.
GWM Ora Cat

Tidy cockpit with a huge screen landscape and good quality impression.

Almost as long as a VW ID.3

Even if the Ora Cat looks like a small car in pictures, it belongs to the compact class. With a length of 4.24 meters, it is almost just as long as a VW ID.3 (4.26 meters) and around 40 centimeters longer than a Mini Cooper SE (3.85 meters). Here are the most important dimensions at a glance:

● Length: 4.24 meters
● Width: 1.83 meters
● Height: 1.60 meters
● Wheelbase: 2.65 meters

First seat rehearsal in the GWM Ora Cat

While the round retro design is certainly a matter of taste, there are no two opinions when it comes to the interior. Thanks to the 2.65 meter wheelbase, the space available in the rear is more than sufficient and cannot be compared with a Mini Cooper SE or a Honda e. More surprising than the available space, however, is the impression of quality. Hard plastic deserts or catastrophic processing are in vain in the Ora Cat. Instead it is Material selection very good. Surfaces that feel like leather are vegan alternatives. The plastic parts in the viewing and grip area are all foamed and Hard plastic is only found in a few places in the interior. Nothing looks cheap here – on the contrary!
GWM Ora Cat

Retro design front with round headlights reminiscent of Mini.

And that’s just the beginning, because not only the workmanship fits, the Chinese are also really excited when it comes to infotainment. The huge one sits enthroned in the center of the dashboard 20.5 inch screen landscape, which is divided into navigation / infotainment (right) and virtual cockpit (left). The operation hardly raises any questions and the touchscreen reacts quickly and smoothly. The only point of criticism: the animated instruments are not easy to read. GWM Ora reveals that the 20.5 inch dual screen should be standard on board. The small and compact car competition á la VW ID.3 looks old in comparison.

In addition, the Ora Cat has useful features such as a 360-degree camera, parking assistant and even face recognition. The latter not only ensures that the driver is warned of drowsiness and distraction, but also saves individual settings. After getting in, the driver’s seat automatically moves to the preselected position – that’s that luxury-class feeling.

Range of up to 400 kilometers

GWM Ora is planning two different versions of the electric car. So should the Ora Cat with a 105 kW (143 hp) or 126 kW (171 hp) will be available. Both models have Front-wheel drive and are cordoned off at 160 km / h. According to the manufacturer, 50 km / h should be on the speedometer after 3.8 seconds and 100 km / h after 8.3 seconds. Depending on whether the battery is with 49 kWh or 63 kWh is ordered, the Range between 300 and 400 kilometers according to WLTP. This means that the Ora Cat is somewhat weaker than the VW ID.3 with a performance upgrade, but it offers a range similar to that of the competitor from Wolfsburg.

At the IAA, GWM Ora also showed a possible cup version of the Cat electric car.

Prices from around 30,000 euros

Now everything is happening very quickly: after the European premiere at the IAA Mobility should Pre-orders from the end of 2021 to be possible. The customer vehicles could already be in will be delivered in the first half of 2022 – that’s the plan. The price of the electric car should be are around 30,000 euros, a basic version could even be a little cheaper. If you take into account the planned standard equipment including matrix LED headlights, 20.5 inch display and more, the Ora Cat could be an interesting alternative.

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