GWM Ora unveils ‘Lightning Cat’ upmarket saloon model

An unnamed all-electric saloon from GWM, known as the ‘Lightning Cat’ in China, will rival the Tesla Model 3

The newest model in Chinese firm Great Wall Motors has been unveiled as a premium saloon car with a fully-electric powertrain. GWM Ora says the new car will go on sale at the start of 2024, with specifications, pricing and, of course, its name due to be revealed in the next few months. In China the new car is called ‘Lightning Cat’, although here in the UK GWM Ora cars could take on a more conventional numeric naming system with the Lightning Cat potentially being renamed ‘07’.

If you’ve never heard of GWM Ora before, it's a manufacturer of fully-electric cars, positioned as a sub brand of Great Wall Motors. We saw Great Wall Motors take on the UK market in 2013 with the Steed pick up truck - GWM Ora’s first car here was the recently launched Funky Cat EV. 

This new saloon is the second car to hit the UK from GWM Ora, it’s pitched as competition to Hyundai’s new Ioniq 6, the Kia EV6 and Tesla’s Model 3. The firm says its new offering “shares the brand’s distinctive retro-futuristic design DNA”. 

Toby Marshall, Managing Director, GWM Ora UK, Toby Marshall said: “The reveal of our next premium electric vehicle in the UK is a really momentous occasion for the brand. We always knew our first model, Ora Funky Cat, was just the start. There are lots more exciting things to come.”

We’ve already seen the Lighting Cat, or ‘07’ make its public debut at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year. It’s Ioniq 6-sized and shaped four-door, with Ora’s Porsche-like family front end dominated by wide circular headlamps. Meanwhile, the back end has echoes of Bentley models, with its angled rear lights sitting on top of the rear haunches.

The interior follows the theme of the Funky Cat, with a large central infotainment screen and three instrument dials in front of the driver. The swoopy dash is topped with decent-quality materials, while - in spite of the car’s slippery shape - there’s decent leg and headroom in the back. The large glass panoramic roof, synthetic leather seats and interior ambient lights will all be standard features.

In China the car can be had with a 83.5kWh battery resulting in a range of over 400 miles. 400bhp comes from the dual-motor system delivering an impressive 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds. In the UK it’s possible we will get a cheaper single-motor, two-wheel drive version with less power. 

GWM Ora will also add new variants of the Funky Cat later this year with higher-specifications including heated and cooled seats with massage functions and even a larger battery option.

Click here for our list of the best electric cars on sale right now...

Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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