The ORA Cat; China’s latest addition to the UK electric car market

Early in 2021, Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall Motors (GWM) confirmed that its recently established all-electric brand, Ora, will be coming to the UK. The first model announced is the Cat, a zero emission, electric car set to take on the Volkswagen ID.3 and Nissan Leaf. 

The ORA Cat was originally set to be on sale from December 2021 in the UK, with deliveries taking place in the first half of 2022. Priced from £25,000 the Cat will be one of the more affordable electric cars joining the market this year.

Launched in China in 2018, the Cat is the first electric car to come to the UK from EV-only brand ORA – a sub brand of GWM. But how will it fair in the UK electric car market, and should we consider adding it to our hire fleet?

An affordable electric hatchback!

Automatically, the Cat’s specification is set well above it’s £25,000 price bracket. With a range of 261 miles, the Cat can travel more than twice as far as the similarly priced Mazda MX-30. Likewise, it even has slightly more range than the popular Renault Zoe (which is more expensive).

That huge range is expected to be achieved with the 63kWh battery pack. The smaller 58kWh battery is expected to offer around 209 miles of range. Both of these are capable of charging 80kW fast chargers. These should charge the electric car to 80% in just 45 minutes.

In terms of acceleration, the Cat doesn’t rank horrendously, but it could certainly do better. We’re expecting the UK models of the Cat will take around 8.5 seconds to reach 62mph and will have a top speed of 100mph. That’s ever so slightly slower than its competitor, the Volkswagen ID.3.

Retro-futuristic design cues

The CAT’s styling seems to have been influenced by several models throughout history, including the Fiat 500, Mini Hatchback and even the Porsche 911. It’s a similar size to the ID.3, but is expected to have four different trim levels. All of which should qualify for the Government’s electric car grant, if they arrive in time. 

At the moment, we don’t know a huge amount about the ins and outs of the Cat’s design, but we do know that it looks retro and futuristic at the same time! Characteristic retro headlights are reminiscent of the 1960s while the dynamic, continuous tail lights appear much more modern.

This theme is continued inside where we find vegan-friendly seats which contrast the floating 20.5-inch central dual-screen display, which controls all of your infotainment systems. LED lights, rear parking sensors, and a 360 degree camera are just some of the features that come as standard on all trim levels.

The ORA Cat is also one of the first electric cars we’ve seen that has a facial recognition system in the UK! This recognises the driver and adjusts the seats, entertainment and navigation systems accordingly. Of course, you can also access all of these features by touch, voice control and on the app.

Can the Cat cut it in the UK?

We can’t wait to find out more about the Cat as they arrive in the UK. Hopefully we’ll be able to get behind the wheel of one soon and give you a full review. But for now, we’ll refrain from predicting its success!

What do you think? Would you test out the ORA Cat?

* All information correct as of 09/03/2022.

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