This here is the Ora Cat 01 EV. Nope, us neither. To explain, Ora is a new EV brand from Chinese carmaker Great Wall and the Cat is the first car, hence the number in the name. It’s coming to the UK at the start of 2022 and it’ll cost from £25,000.
That might sound like a lot for a car you’ve never heard of from a maker that’s not currently selling cars in the UK – it sold the Steed pickup for a while about a decade ago, but has never sold a passenger car here – but it needs context.
It might look like the makers of GTA Online ripped off a Nissan Micra, but it’s actually a sizable hatchback that rivals the Volkswagen ID.3 and yet undercuts it by around £5000. Every version, even the range topping one, will sit under the £35,000 threshold that currently qualifies for the Government’s PiGC grant. Two battery options will be available, 48kWh and 63kWh, with the former offering a 209-mile claimed range and the latter 261 miles. The 63kWh version will cost well below £30,000 for a car whose battery range comfortably surpasses EVs like the Mazda MX-30, the MINI Electric and even the Renault Zoe. It’s actually closer to the range you get in a luxury SUV, like the Mercedes-Benz EQC or BMW iX3.
Both versions are capable of charging at speeds up to 80kWh and 11kW on-board charging is standard. With 80kW charging the battery will fill from empty to 80% in under an hour.
Power is 170hp with 250Nm torque, so while it won’t be rapid it’ll feel quick enough; Ora claims that it’ll get to 60mph in 8.5 Seconds, with 30mph taking 3.8 seconds. The electric motor drives the front-wheels, which sets it apart from the rear-wheel drive Volkswagen ID.3, and will no doubt make it a more predictable car to drive in the snow.
The cabin doesn’t feel budget in any way, with all versions getting twin 10-inch screens for the instrument panel and infotainment and retro styling feel that’s evidently inspired by the MINI. Look at those toggle switches. A rotary dial acts as the drive selector, and the interior has the appearance of being swathed in stitched leather – it’ll be an eco material of some sort though, no doubt. The car is capable of autonomous driving too, using a dozen sensors and a series of cameras to navigate.