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Great Wall Motors’ Ora EV brand is putting the finishing touches on its European expansion plans and has announced that UK sales of its Cat electric hatchback will start in December.
On sale in China since 2018 and confirmed to launch in Europe at September’s IAA Mobility 2021 show in Munich, the Ora Cat will be priced from just £25,000 ($34,120), targeting rivals like the Volkswagen ID.3 and Nissan Leaf.
The Cat will try to lure UK buyers with several attributes, chief of which is the driving range of 261 miles (420 km) made possible by a 63 kWh (gross) battery pack. This battery will be offered from around £28,000, while the base model gets a smaller 58-kWh unit with a 209-mile (336-km) range.
Both batteries can charge at 80 kW from a CCS fast charger, with 6.6 kW single-phase and three-phase 11 kW AC charging come standard on all models.
Regardless of the battery pack, a front-mounted motor sends 126 kW (169 hp) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque to the front wheels, enabling a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 8.5 seconds and a 100 mph (161 km/h) top speed.
While its retro-styled body may trick the viewer into thinking it’s a small car, the Ora Cat is actually the size of a VW Golf (or ID.3), measuring 4,234 mm (167 in) in length, 1,825 mm (72 in) in width, and 1,596 mm (63 in) in height. The 2,650-mm (104-in) wheelbase ensures plenty room in the back, with Autocar claiming that even six-foot-tall adults can sit comfortably in the rear.
The Ora Cat will be offered in four trim levels in the UK, all of which will qualify for the government’s £35,000 EV plug-in car grant. Each trim will offer generous standard equipment, with even the entry-level model bringing standard LED lights (front and rear), 18-inch alloys, a pair of 10.25-in screens with smartphone mirroring, rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, facial recognition and a suite of driver aids.
Great Wall Motors will start taking preorders for the Ora Cat in December, with the first customer deliveries expected in the first half of 2022. The Chinese carmaker aims to sell 50,000 Ora Cats a year in the UK.