New GWM Ora saloon is a Chinese Tesla Model 3
Chinese automaker GWM Ora has unveiled a new electric saloon set to rival the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6
The yet-to-be-named follow-up to the Ora Funky Cat has now been officially unveiled in the UK. Taking the shape of an electric saloon, the Chinese giant’s second model to be sold in Britain will be a rival to the likes of the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the forthcoming Volkswagen ID.7.
As you can see, GWM Ora’s latest creation essentially looks like a stretched version of the existing Funky Cat, with that car’s cutesy rounded headlights and smooth shape also visible here. However, instead of a rear light bar, the Ora saloon instead gets a set of Porsche Panamera-style oval tail lights and a huge panoramic roof that adjoins the rear window, designed to flood plenty of light into the cabin.
Speaking of which, the Funky Cat supermini already had a posh-feeling interior, and the new saloon appears to take things a step further. The entire front of the cabin is bisected by a large floating centre console that’s wrapped in leather and aluminium trim, plus the front seats offer a massage function as well as heating and cooling.
Sitting atop the dashboard is a large touchscreen – we expect running the same software as the 10.3-inch unit fitted to the saloon’s hatchback sibling – while instead of a rectangular screen, the instrument cluster is split up into three circular displays, like a more traditional analogue binnacle.
The cat isn’t out of the bag yet – pun intended – in regards to what will power GWM Ora’s next model in the UK. However, the saloon is already on sale in China where it’s powered by an 83.5kWh battery and 400bhp dual electric motor setup; 0-62mph takes just 5.5 seconds.
Exact details are yet to be confirmed, but GWM Ora has suggested that a dual-motor model will be coming to the UK – likely with the same setup mentioned above – as well as a more affordable rear-wheel-drive single motor variant. GWM Ora is yet to reveal any WLTP range figures, either, but has stated that the new saloon will have a range of “over 300 miles”.
Despite clinching DrivingElectric’s Best Urban Electric Car award for 2023, the Ora Funky Cat certainly caused some controversy when it first launched, not least due to its love it or hate it-style name. This appears to be an issue facing many Chinese automakers that are currently trying to enter the global market, with names such as ‘Build Your Dreams’ springing to mind as a potential deterrent for prudish European buyers.
Therefore, it’s likely that the Ora saloon’s withheld name signals a forthcoming rebranding initiative for the Chinese manufacturer. We expect the new car to be badged the ‘Ora 07’, rather than the ‘Lightning Cat’ as it’s known in its home market. The Funky Cat could also therefore be renamed to the ‘Ora 03’ to match its newer sibling.
The new Ora saloon is expected to go on sale in spring 2024, but eager customers can place their reservations for the new car now, to be the first in line when deliveries begin. GWM Ora remains tight-lipped when it comes to pricing, but has hinted that its latest model will be priced “competitive[ly] to brands like Tesla, Hyundai and Kia.”
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