could this Chinese rival of the ID.3 and the Mégane Electric arrive in France?

Two new manufacturers have just announced that they will be present at the next edition of the Paris Motor Show to be held in October: on the one hand, the very young French manufacturer NamX who will present their HUV, a Hydrogen SUV designed by Pininfarina and, on the other, the Chinese brand Ora that will exhibit the Cat. Owned by Great Wall Motors, this automotive group is known here (just a little) for unsuccessfully trying to market a 4×4 under the Landwind badge in the early 2000s. But this time, with the Ora Cat, it’s back with an attractive proposition. that could get it right, both in terms of form and technique. At the moment, it is only planned to go on sale in Europe in the UK where it will cross swords with the 100% electric Renault Mégane E-Tech, the Volkswagen ID.3 and other MG 4s, also of Asian origin, from next autumn . But by appearing in a European program, it seems that he wants to conquer the Old Continent as a whole. The next step in France? The question must be asked.

Mini X-Leaf

In any case, we love it or hate it, but it is clear that the design of this Ora Cat is rather worked. A bit of Mini at the front with two large round headlights typical of the British model, a (big) hint of the first generation of the Nissan Leaf by its profile and its stern, the Asian compact does not hesitate to mix references, without however. fall into plagiarism, a pretty good thing for a Chinese car.

At 4.24m long, the Cat is halfway between a Mégane (4.21m) and an ID.3 (4.26m). Due to his height (1.60 m), he dominates them instead by 10 cm and 5 cm respectively. If in fact we could expect a more generous interior space, it does not seem that the compact of the Middle Kingdom is the queen of the volume/habitability ratio. This is demonstrated by its more modest wheelbase (2.65 m against 2.70 m for the Mégane and 2.77 m for the ID.3) and above all its volume of the trunk reduced to a minimum (223 dm3 when the the German can transport 385 dm3 of luggage). and the Mégane has a total of 440 dm3). To confirm when we can get up close.

Original in its exterior lines, the Cat is also original inside.© Now

Rather decent features

At its UK launch, only one configuration of the Ora Funky Cat (with the adjective ‘funky’ added to its name across the Channel) will go on sale. Its electric motor delivers 171 hp to the rear wheels only. With a correct torque of 250 Nm, and despite a very high weight (close to 2 t!), the performance is maintained. It takes 8.3 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. At maximum speed, it can reach 155 km/h. The battery, rather compact with its 48 kWh, would allow it to drive the equivalent of 310 km (193 miles) on a single charge. OK but barely more than the Mégane EV40 with 40kWh battery (300km). A 63 kWh option could arrive later, during 2023, when the range will be extended. In terms of load power, the Cat does not exceed with 80 kW maximum, when a Mégane offers between 85 and 130 kW and an ID.3 exceeds 120 kW. Still count 42 minutes to recharge the battery from 15 to 80% charge on a fast terminal.

Obviously, the Chinese claim their prices are tight. It’s shown from £31,995 (about 37,000 in our euros) with top-of-the-range trim that leaves absolutely nothing out: leather, 18″ wheels, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, air conditioning, 360 camera, digital instrumentation and 10.25″ touchscreen each, wireless smartphone charger, power front seats, etc. We will know more in October. Perhaps the manufacturer will take the opportunity to make an announcement about the very likely expansion of the brand in Europe.

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