You will be forgiven for not even knowing about the car manufacturer Ora, China’s Great Wall Automotive company. The company is known for attracting the attention of Fiat after it created a car that the Italian company thought looked too similar to its Panda (Italian courts agreed) and more recently for partnering with BMW to produce the Mini Electric in China). The Ora is the latest electronic offering from the giant.
Funky Cat—yes, that’s what it’s called—is Ora’s first foray into Europe. This car has gained fans all over the internet, thanks to its beautiful design, reasonable prices, and technical specifications. After a long wait, it’s now available in the UK, so we’ve had it for a while.
The Funky Cat has a price advantage compared to its competitors like the Cupra Born and the Renault Megané eTech. Coming in at £31,995 ($37,962), and with a few options to throw on top, it’s significantly cheaper than its rivals. And you won’t find the batteries awkwardly mounted in a chassis built for a petrol engine; This platform is purpose-built for the electric powertrain.
Looking at the reviews, you may wonder what the fish is. The 48-kWh battery pack sends 171 PS to the front wheels, which allows for an 8.3-second 0-62-mph time and a top speed of 99 mph. Range is 193 miles on a charge, Ora says. On a 100-kW DC charger, the battery will discharge within 45 minutes, while a 7-kW household charger will take significantly longer.
However, it is almost a small(ish) EV. It’s a technology inside that looks amazing: voice assistant, cameras that can detect if you’re tired (or left a child or pet in the car), a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, 360-degree cameras and sensors that can see. around the car, internet radio, OTA updates to add things on the go, wireless phone charging, removable drives, weight controls… it seems to have it all.
But a closer look at the car reveals a few flaws. Its color, if caught in the right light, looks like the peel of an orange (although it is smooth to the touch, it has a surprisingly shocking effect). Inside, there are scratchy plastics, and no matter how much the Ora wants you to think that its woven interior fabric makes it superior, it doesn’t. First Edition cars get a pre-installed badge that shows off their status, but it takes away more than it adds. On the design front, it’s a sweet little thing, but it wouldn’t be perfect for a GTA game.
On the move, his technique is the same. There won’t be Apple CarPlay or Android Auto until the first half of 2023, so you’ll have to rely on Ora’s efforts. I’m doing well, but the voice instructions are often confusing, and at one point they warned of an impending “disruption”.
The infotainment screen has the right controls, but the UI is unintuitive. Borrowing a friend’s car will result in people calling and asking how to switch between nav and radio. On the radio front, the car comes with 4G connectivity that supports internet radio and OTAs. Currently, Ora offers 12 months of functionality, with more available through a paid subscription. Internet radio is a good idea, but if the signal is weak it stops working. It’s slow to encrypt, so Funky Cat’s DAB tuner is perfect for the job.