At the IAA Mobility, Great Wall Motors (GWM) is giving a preview of the first two models of its Ora and Wey brands, with which the Chinese car company soon wants to gain a foothold in Europe.
++ This article has been updated. Kindly continue reading below. ++
The Ora Cat is a BEV compact car, while the Wey Coffee 01 is a plug-in hybrid SUV with a 150-kilometre electric range. Both vehicles are expected to be ready for delivery in Europe from the first half of 2022. Pre-orders will be available from the end of this year, according to Great Wall.
While Germany is set to be the first market within Europe for the premium SUV brand Wey, the Chinese company is not yet giving precise details on where the Ora brand will make its debut. Details on equipment variants, sales partners and prices will also be announced by the company shortly. As far as the technical performance data is concerned, Great Wall already provides a lot of interesting information.
First to the Ora Cat: The electric compact car is advertised by Great Wall as an urban lifestyle vehicle in “futuristic retro design”. With its rounded proportions and headlights, the model looks like a not-too-distant relative of the VW Beetle. The manufacturer particularly emphasises the Cat’s intelligent driving characteristics.
More interesting, of course, are the promised performance figures: the Ora Cat has an electric motor on the front axle that produces 126 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque. Great Wall claims acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 160 km/h. The energy storage system on board is supposed to provide an energy boost and is said to have an energy content of 63 kWh to allow a range of 400 kilometres according to WLTP. Information from Great Wall indicates that the Cat will be offered with a different battery variant; however, apart from the 63 kWh battery, the largest energy storage system on offer, GWM does not give any concrete details. The manufacturer also does not provide any information on the charging capacity of the 1.5-tonne electric vehicle.
The Ora Cat is based on Great Wall’s L.E.M.O.N. electric vehicle platform and comes with dimensions of 4,235 x 1,825 x 1,596 millimetres and a wheelbase of 2,650 millimetres. The model is already on sale in China. Customers there are known to be very tech-savvy. With its AI and connectivity features, the Cat should now also score in Europe. Great Wall lists the installation of five millimetre-wave radar sensors, twelve ultrasonic radar sensors, four cameras for all-round vision and a “highly sensitive front camera for intelligent driving” as strengths in this area. In addition, there is a new-generation Intel chip that is supposed to provide the computing power to process all the data supplied by the sensors and cameras.
Assistance systems include solutions for assisted motorway driving and automated parking. In addition, a facial recognition system registers driver fatigue or distraction. Other safety features mentioned by Great Wall include an “ultra-high-strength steel body on an extra-reinforced steel frame”, six airbags, a new ESP system and automatic accident and breakdown assistance. For entertainment, Great Wall promises a 4G entertainment system. A 20.5-inch dual screen is installed in the cockpit for this and other functions. According to the manufacturer, all systems remain constantly up to date thanks to over-the-air updates.
“With GWM ORA, we are building a completely new lifestyle brand in Europe,” expresses Rebecca Grajecki, Brand and Marketing Director Europe for Wey and Ora. “We are addressing a fashion and lifestyle-oriented target group and integrating the brand into the culture of a progressive urban generation.” As a result, Ora is young, creative and progressive.
Great Wall targets an explicitly different target group with its Wey brand. This is dedicated exclusively to the production of premium SUVs. At the IAA Mobility, the company is exhibiting a plug-in hybrid specimen that will make its European market debut in Germany in the first half of 2022. The Wey Coffee 01 – announced earlier this year in Europe as the V71 – is considered the flagship of the Wey brand and, like the Ora Cat, is expected to impress with its intelligence. Among the buzzwords Great Wall mentions are self-learning artificial intelligence, 5G and fast computing power.
The Coffee 01’s PHEV system is made up of two electric motors and a 2.0 turbo petrol engine with 150 kW at the front. The e-machines produce 110 kW and 135 kW. Great Wall gives the system output of the all-wheel-drive vehicle as 350 kW, the torque as 847 Nm. Thanks to the installation of a large 41.8 kWh battery, the Coffee 01 is said to cover up to 150 kilometres in pure electric mode. An above-average value for a PHEV. According to the manufacturer, the Wey battery-electric SUV accelerates to 100 km/h in about seven seconds in E-mode and achieves a top speed of 135 km/h. When all motors are at work, the model weighing a good 2.2 tonnes can sprint to 100 km/h in five seconds and reach speeds of up to 235 km/h. Unfortunately, the Wey Coffee 01 does not yet reveal anything about its charging performance.
Visually, Wey has chosen a classic, elegant SUV design with 21-inch wheels. Stylistic accents are set by a large hexagonal radiator grille, and flush door handles. The 4,870 x 1,960 x 1,690 millimetre PHEV has a wheelbase of 2,910 millimetres and is designed to offer passengers luxurious comfort and space inside. In addition, Wey cites four cockpit screens (9.2-inch instrument cluster, 7.5-inch augmented reality head-up display, 14.6-inch central control display and 9-inch air conditioning touchscreen) and the vegan materials used for the interior as highlights of the interior.
As the first production car, the Coffee 01 will also have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip to pump up the computing power of the central computer. This is needed for 5G, Wi-Fi connectivity, facial recognition, personalisation, the aforementioned augmented reality display and 3D object recognition, among other things. In addition, the SUV gets the same camera and sensor equipment as the Ora Cat and a parking and motorway assistant. Furthermore, the car’s artificial intelligence is actively learning and is always updated through over-the-air updates, Great Wall informs.
“With our smart plug-in hybrid SUV, we aim to meet our customers’ expectations in terms of technical performance and ‘premium’ quality: from its compelling electric range to its intelligent drive platform and ecosystem,” says Johnson Qiang, vice president of GWM Europe. “That’s why innovation in technology, safety and zero-emission powertrains is an absolute priority for Wey.”
The first deliveries of the Coffee 01 and the Ora Cat are scheduled for the first half of 2022. As the Wey BEV will be launched in Germany first, the first brand experience centre in the Federal Republic is also scheduled to open in early 2022 – in Munich. The PHEV itself will be ordered online.
“We will focus on unique experiences and products to meet the daily mobility needs of our users. An interactive, community-based bonus programme will create a new market and an innovative business model,” looks ahead Gerald Krainer, Sales and Service Director Europe for Wey and Ora.
Update 02 November 2021
Chinese carmaker Great Wall has confirmed that its pure-electric Ora Cat 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. To compete locally against rivals such as the Renault Zoe, the Cat will launch with CCS rapid charging, three-phase 11kW AC charging, and 6.6kW single-phase AC charging as standard equipment.
Update 30 May 2022
Great Wall’s all-electric compact car ‘Ora Cat’ is on its way to UK dealerships and has been renamed the ‘Funky Cat’ for the British market. Already, Ora UK has taken over 6,000 registrations of interest for the Funky Cat, with sales planned to commence in autumn this year. Customers can expect first deliveries to take place shortly after. The Funky Cat First Edition will start from £30,495 after PiCG, additional trim levels will later launch from 2023.
With measurements of 4235mm by 1825mm and 1596mm height, the Funky Cat will be competing with Volkswagen’s ID.3, which currently retails for £34,650 in the UK.
“The UK is a key launch market for the GWM ORA brand and I look forward to launching our first product, the ORA Funky Cat, later this year,” said Great Wall Motor Vice President Yao Fei, continuing: “As a new disruptive EV brand, we will offer customers high quality products, with a unique design that will bring a fresh new look to European streets.”
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
– ADVERTISEMENT –