New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k

The high-spec Ora Funky Cat First Edition lands with plenty of kit, but cheaper versions and long-range model also planned

The new Ora Funky Cat has landed in the UK, with orders for the new Chinese made EV opening from £30,495 after the UK government plug-in car grant, for the high-spec First Edition model. 

Ora, a brand owned by Chinese car making giant Great Wall, says it has taken over 6,000 expressions of interest in the Funky Cat, and says that beyond the First Edition model, further variants of the car will be introduced to the UK 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 our roads in the autumn.

The First Edition car uses the model’s smaller battery pack - a 48kWh underfloor cell enabling a maximum range of 193 miles 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 261 miles 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. 

Ora says that it will offer the Funky Cat with a five-year warranty, and potential buyers can jump the queue for cars from June, with a £100 refundable deposit. 

The Ora Funky Cat (called the Cat 01 in the China) made its European debut at the Munich Motor Show in 2021 and will rival the Volkswagen ID.3. At 4,235mm long and 1,825mm 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 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 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. 

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 Funky Cat have to beat? These are the best small electric cars on sale right now...

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