The new Ora Cat, a Chinese-built electric hatchback due on sale in the UK from December and priced from just £25,000, has been revealed promising efficiency and performance figures that outshine several key rivals.
Launched in China in 2018 and confirmed for a European roll-out at the Munich motor show in September, the Cat is the newest model from the nascent, EV-only Ora subbrand formed by automotive giant Great Wall Motors (GWM). Five years after pulling the uncompetitive Steed pick-up from sale in the UK, GWM is re-entering the market with models from Ora and the more premium-oriented Wey marque, whose plug-in hybrid Coffee 01 SUV is due to arrive in Europe next year.
What most obviously marks the Cat out from other EVs at this price point is its maximum range of 261 miles, which is more than double that of the similarly priced Mazda MX-30 and slightly more than even the top-rung Renault Zoe. That maximum figure is achieved by a Cat featuring a 63kWh (gross) battery pack. That model is expected to cost from around £28,000, although a smaller 58kWh option with a 209-mile range will also be available.
Both are capable of charging at 80kW from a CCS fast charger, while 6.6kW single-phase and three-phase 11kW AC charging are standard on all models. Power is sent to a motor on the front axle – a drivetrain configuration which Ora bosses believe will aid the car’s popularity on wet UK roads. The motor makes 169bhp and 184lb ft, which sends the Cat from 0-30mph in 3.8sec, 0-62mph in 8.5sec and on to a top speed of 100mph.
The Cat measures 4235mm long by 1825mm wide and 1596mm high, making it a close dimensional match for the Volkswagen ID 3, while a wheelbase of 2650mm means even six-foot-tall adults can sit comfortably in the rear. The Cat is expected to be offered in four trim levels, all of which will qualify for the government’s £35,000 EV grant, company representatives say. Each trim will be offered with a high level of standard equipment, making the Cat a viable rival even to compact EVs from established European premium brands.