Chinese-made Ora Cat 01 electric car set for UK launch

The all-electric Ora Cat will go on sale in December, with a starting price of around £25,000 and a maximum range of 261 miles

Chinese car maker Great Wall has confirmed that its Ora Cat 01, a pure-electric hatchback from its new EV spin-off brand, will be available to order in the UK from December with a starting price of around £25,000. Deliveries are scheduled for the first half of 2022.

The Ora Cat 01 made its European debut at the Munich Motor Show earlier this year and will rival the Volkswagen ID.3. At 4,235mm long and 1,825mm wide, both cars are about the same size, but Ora's aggressive pricing strategy means it undercuts its German opponent by almost £5,000.

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 169bhp and 250Nm of torque, enough for a claimed 0-30mph time of 3.8 seconds, according to the brand.

Buyers will also be able to choose from either a 48kWh or a 63kWh battery, the larger of which offers a maximum claimed range of 261 miles. The car’s electrical system also supports 80kW rapid charging, meaning the 63kWh unit can take on an 80 per cent charge in 50 minutes.

The Ora Cat 01’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. 

Buyers also get 12 ultrasonic radar sensors and multiple exterior cameras that collectively monitor the car’s surroundings. The information gathered is then processed by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon computing chip, which allows for semi-autonomous driving, too.

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.

What does the new Ora Cat 01 have to beat? These are the best small electric cars on sale right now...

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