Ora Cat Australian price could hit around $45k

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Ora Cat 1

Ora Cat pricing from overseas suggests it will be a $40-45k electric car in Australia.

GWM/Haval says it’s planning to launch the Ora Cat in Australia and although details remain thin, we can glean an indication of what to expect after the brand launched the Ora Cat in right-hand drive in the UK this week.

The model is priced from £30,495 for a highly specified First Edition model, which is the equivalent of around AUD$53,000 (a bit more than Nissan Leaf here). However, a direct conversion from pounds to Aussie dollars is not the best comparison given the UK’s car prices are higher across the board. Instead, looking at another Chinese electric car, the newly updated MG ZS EV, the MG is a little more expensive spec for spec, suggesting the Ora Cat could be a circa-$45,000 model, and even cheaper in entry-level spec.

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Ora, a brand owned by Chinese car making giant Great Wall, says it has taken over 6000 expressions of interest in the ‘Funky Cat’ in the UK, and says that beyond the First Edition model, further variants of the car will be introduced to the market in 2023.  The brand says it is looking to establish a retail network in Britain, but an online sales platform will be in place by August, ahead of the first Funky Cats hitting roads in right-hand drive.

The First Edition car uses the model’s smaller battery pack – a 48kWh underfloor cell enabling a maximum range of 309km on a full charge, combined with 80kW DC fast charging and 11kW AC three-phase charging. A 63kWh battery model with a range of up to 420km is in the pipeline.

Standard equipment on the First Edition car includes adaptive cruise control, a 360 degree top-down camera and a reversing camera, LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels. Heated and electrically adjustable seats are found inside along with wireless smartphone charging, while the infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Four paint colours will be offered.

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Ora says that it will offer the Funky Cat with a five-year warranty in the UK (MG offers a seven-year warranty in that market, as it does here), and potential buyers can jump the queue for cars from June, with a refundable deposit.

The Ora Funky Cat (called the Cat 01 in China) made its European debut at the Munich Motor Show in 2021 and will rival the Volkswagen ID.3. At 4235mm long and 1825mm wide, both cars are about the same size.

It’s based on Great Wall’s new dedicated electric-vehicle platform and powered by an electric motor mounted on the front axle, which develops 126kW and 250Nm of torque, enough for a claimed 0-50km/h time of 3.8 seconds, according to the brand.

The Ora Funky Cat’s retro stylised looks blend together design cues from icons such as the Porsche 911 and the MINI, but the technology on board is bang-up-to-date.

There’s plenty of driver-assistance technology, including autonomous parking, lane assist and a facial recognition system that can identify when the driver is fatigued or distracted.

Inside, there’s a 10.25-inch digital dash panel and a 10.25-inch infotainment system, which are both mounted in one seamless 20.5-inch unit set on top of the car’s dashboard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are also included, and all of the car’s systems will be supported by over-the-air software updates.

Chinese car makers are gaining an ever stronger foothold in the global car market. MG and Volvo both have Chinese owners; Nio has already launched its cars in Norway and iPhone maker Foxconn recently broke into the industry, unveiling two new EVs.

James Brodie

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