It’s no secret that China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) is bringing its Ora electric vehicle (EV) sub-brand to South Africa, with the first model to land being the Cat.
The manufacturer previously confirmed to TopAuto that its EV will reach local roads toward the end of the second quarter/start of the third quarter of 2023.
A few months before the expected launch date, however, a keen-eyed Twitter user, To SilevuAndile, has already spotted the compact electric GWM on local roads with no numberplates, presumably completing the final rounds of its homologation testing.
The car has a few different names; in certain markets it’s the Cat, in others, the Funky Cat or the Good Cat.
The variant seen in South Africa bears the Funky Cat badging, hinting that this might be the EV’s official name once it goes on sale in a few months’ time.
What to expect
While no domestic pricing has been announced for the Cat, it’s widely expected that it will be the most affordable EV in the country when it reaches the market as the current holder of this position is the Mini Cooper SE which goes for a pricey R742,102.
In Australia, the EV starts from approximately R530,000 (AU$44,000)and in the UK, it goes from a pricier R700,000 (£32,000) – though it’s worth noting the Ora in these markets offer slightly different specifications and features from one another.
Under the skin, though, they are all the same and consist of a 49kWh or 63kWh battery pack driving one electric motor on the front axle putting out 126kW and 250Nm.
The reading allows the Cat a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 159km/h, while driving distance ranges between 320-420km, depending on the equipped battery module.
Plugged into a 6.6kW AC cable, the Ora replenishes 15-80% charge in five hours and 24 minutes, with an 11kW AC charger it takes three hours and 12 minutes, and with the maximum supported rate of 64kW DC, it takes only 43 minutes.
While the early images of the four-door Funky Cat on local soil do not provide much in the way of confirmed features, we do know the GWM is set to have a generous equipment list at launch.
Interested consumers can expect leatherette upholstery, electric seats, automatic air conditioning, LED lights with high-beam assist, adaptive cruise control, wireless charging, blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment display.
From the photos, we can also see that it has folding electric side mirrors, all-round parking sensors, 360-degree cameras, smart keyless entry, and sleek taillights integrated into the rear window for an uncluttered look from the back.
The complete South African specifications and pricing will be announced closer to the Cat’s launch date, which is luckily right around the corner.
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