By Breda Corrigan
Great Wall Motor (GWM) is the largest manufacturer of SUVs in mainland China, and their sub-brand ORA has made inroads into Europe recently with its all-electric Funky Cat. According to GWM, ORA stands for ‘Open, Reliable and Alternative’, and their mission for Funky Cat owners is that it will “accompany you through the rich experiences of life and share the joy of discovery and connection”. The Funky Cat will be joined by a four-door saloon (to rival the Tesla Model 3) later this year, and a compact SUV is due to reach our shores next year.
Impressive Standard Equipment
The ORA Funky Cat is available in Ireland in two trims: 300 PRO and 400 PRO + (plus) with an electric range of up to 310km and 420km respectively. Standard equipment is hugely impressive across both trim levels, with key standard features such as quilted leatherette seats, electric driver and passenger seats, automatic LED headlights with High Beam Assist, Blindspot Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Centering Function, Rear Traffic Cross Alert & Brake, keyless entry & start, power-folding door mirrors, auto air-conditioning, voice (“Hello ORA”) and face recognition system, rear central armrest with cupholders, auto dimming rear view mirror, 360-degree surround HD camera, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, satellite navigation, internet radio, wireless phone charging, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, along with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display. Additional standard features in the 400 PRO + include an opening panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, heated & ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, massage function on both front seats, memory function on electric driver seat, rear privacy glass, front parking sensors, and Auto Park Assist. For buyers looking to personalise their car, the Funky Cat can be ordered with a contrasting roof colour, while optional interior colour options include cream/red or green/beige. Buyers of the entry-level 300 PRO can specify heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and privacy glass (Option Pack 1) if they so wish.
Powering the Funky Cat 300 PRO is a 48kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate battery with a claimed consumption of 16.7kWh per 100km, and a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 8.3-seconds. The 63kWh Ternary Lithium battery in the 400 PRO + model has a claimed consumption of 16.5kWh per 100km, and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.2-seconds. Both models produce 171PS (169bhp) and 250Nm of torque, with power being sent to the cars’ front wheels in both cases. Measuring in at 4235mm long, the Funky Cat is similar in length to a Mini Countryman, VW ID.3, MG4 and an Opel Crossland, and its 2650mm wheelbase ensures that up to five occupants can enjoy good levels of leg, elbow and head room. The standard 228-litre boot capacity behind the rear seats can be expanded to 858-litres when the rear seats are folded down.
The Funky Cat is compatible with single phase AC charging up to 6.6kW, three phase AC charging up to 11kW, and DC charging up to 64kW. This means that a 15-80% charge at a three phase charger can be completed in 3.2 hours (300 PRO) or 4.3 hours (400 PRO +), with a 20-80% charge at a DC charger taking just 39 minutes and 45 minutes respectively. The Funky Cat comes with a Type 2 charging cable as standard, along with a 3 pin domestic charging cable.
Five-Star NCAP Rating.
The Funky Cat comes with intuitive voice and face recognition software so that all you have to do is slide in, fasten your seatbelt and begin your journey. To keep occupants safe on their journey, the Funky Cat is packed with next-generation driver-assistance features as standard, and it has achieved a five-star NCAP safety rating as a result. The cabin is dominated by a slick twin-screen layout, with the stylish rotary gear-selector located where you would traditionally find the gearstick in a manual car. The suede-effect dash top looks and feels plush, and the faux-leather seats are comfortable and supportive in equal measure. Finding a suitable position behind the steering wheel is easy, as there are plenty of adjustment options on offer, and the exposed stitching on the doors and dashboard creates a relatively upmarket look.
Test Car Details.
My ORA Funky Cat 400 PRO + test car was finished in Celestial Blue with a black roof and door mirrors. Thanks to an instant surge of torque, the car feels brisk and willing to power ahead in a fuss-free manner, while the overall ride quality is impressive. Driving through city streets is an easy task, and the car takes motorway journey’s in its stride too. The car feels well planted on the road, and its pliant suspension works in its favour too. The new ORA Funky Cat successfully blends retro design, futuristic tech, and an impressive array of standard equipment with affordability and low running costs. It is an extremely capable small EV that is sure to appeal to motorists looking to make the transition into EV motoring.
Warranty & Pricing.
The ORA Funky Cat comes with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty, a 5-year roadside assistance package, and an 8-year/160,000km battery warranty as standard. Currently the 300 PRO and 400 PRO + are priced at €31,995 and €39,995 respectively (inclusive of a €5,000 SEAI Grant & VRT relief, where applicable).