What's Next for ORA?
The Chinese company's follow-up to the Funky Cat is coming - now they just need to decide on its name...
WE’VE already seen Great Wall Motors’ ORA Funky Cat, which Drive will hopefully be road-testing in the very near future: now the fully electric hatchback is getting a big EV sister in saloon form.
Due to hit our roads next year, the Chinese car-maker’s latest offering doesn’t actually have an official model name for the UK and Ireland markets yet. It’s being teased on ORA’s website as the ‘Next Cat’ but is already on sale in GWM’s homeland as the ORA Lightning Cat.
That’s a pointed reference to the 408hp and 503 lb ft of torque on tap from the car’s 300kW dual-motor equipped, 82.5kWh battery-powered Performance variant, which has a range of 373 miles and shifts from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds.
Perhaps calling it the ‘Scalded Cat’ was a bit too un-PC.
However, by all accounts the Lightning Cat’s suspension and chassis set-up struggles to cope with such (ahem) electrifying performance: it seems the car copes best when operating in its ‘Goddess’ drive mode, which ramps up the power-assisted steering and electronically adjusts the dampers for maximum comfort.
Thus, ‘Fancy Cat’ might be a more suitable moniker for ORA’s newcomer, especially as there’s a distinct whiff of ‘premium’ motoring about this as-yet-unnamed car which is being pitched to take on the likes of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, Kia EV6 and Tesla Model 3 - especially on the inside which, from the pics we’ve seen so far, appears to be an oasis of caramel coloured leather and brushed aluminium dash/console inserts bathed in natural light filtered through the car’s panoramic glass roof.
Indeed, when the model appeared at last year’s Thailand International Motor Expo, it was badged as the ‘Grand Cat’.
On the outside, let’s be kind and say they based it on a design drawn from memory, specifically a fond yet slightly hazy memory of a Porsche Panamera, perhaps one that was parked next to a 1990s VW Beetle and a Bentley Continental.
Given that it’s the work of ex-Porsche man Emanuel Derta, that’s likely pretty close to the truth, though sadly this does leave prospective owners open to cruel carpark cracks about their car being ‘what you get when you order a Porsche Panamera on Wish’.
Toby Marshall, MD of GWM ORA UK says: “The reveal of our next premium electric vehicle in the UK is a really momentous occasion for the brand. It signals the high level of commitment and investment from GWM ORA to establish itself as a leader in multiple segments across the UK.
“We always knew our first model, ORA Funky Cat, was just the start. There are lots more exciting things to come.”
Exact pricing and UK specs aren’t yet available, but ORA say it is “likely” that the newmodel will feature an electric range of “over 300 miles WLTP” and will be available with both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive powertrains.
The latter will produce “around 395hp, with 502lb ft of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph time of just over 4.4 seconds”.
While we await further details on the latest addition to the ORA family, you can currently order the well-specced ORA Funky Cat First Edition from Charles Hurst in Belfast for immediate delivery.
On the road price is £31,995, with monthly finance deals also available from £348.81 per month, and each car comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.
See charleshurstgroup.co.uk/gwmora for further details.