First Drive: Can the electric GWM Ora Funky Cat get the cream?

The Funky Cat is a new electric hatchback from GWM Ora, but how does it feel to drive this quirky-looking electric vehicle? James Batchelor finds out.

What is?

Good question, as we think most people will also have it on their lips. The Funky Cat comes from one of China’s leading automakers, Great Wall Motor, while Ora is its exclusive brand for electric vehicles. The firm hopes to finally establish itself in Europe and the UK as an alternative to more traditional brands, and the hatchback-sized estate Funky Cat is its first move.

It’s now on sale at three dealerships, but GWM Ora UK plans to add more showrooms and models, including a Porsche Panamera-esque electric coupe-saloon, in 2023. Does it stand a chance against an increasingly impressive group of vehicles? European electrical? We have been finding out.

What’s new?

Great Wall has been to the UK before with its rather disappointing Steed pick-up, but this time it’s going after the electric hatchback customer with its Ora brand. No easy task, as this sector is dominated by Volkswagen ID.3, Vauxhall Corsa-e and Mini Electric.

There’s also the small matter of the MG4: a car built by GWM’s big Chinese rival SAIC, and one that beats almost all of its competition on price and electric range.

First Ride: Can Electric GWM or Funky Cat Get the Cream?

now funky cat

What’s under the hood?

When GWM Ora first hinted at bringing its Funky Cat to the UK, there was talk of a low entry price and two battery options: 48kWh and 63kWh. At the moment though, only the smaller battery pack is on offer, along with a 169bhp electric motor driving the front wheels.

In terms of charging, an 80 per cent recharge with a standard domestic wallbox will take five hours and 24 minutes, while an 11kW three-phase street charger cuts that down to three hours and 12 minutes. The Funky Cat can only charge up to speeds of 64kW, so hook it up to a 100kW ultra-fast charger and an 80-percent charge will take around 45 minutes.

Lastly, you’ll be able to squeeze 193 claimed miles out of the 48kWh battery, while the upcoming 63kWh version claims 261 miles.

What is it like to drive?

With his cutesy and harmless image, it would be easy to write off the Funky Cat as not much of a cop to drive. But that’s the first surprise, as he’s quite entertaining, with precise steering, a very balanced and comfortable ride, and more than enough push.

A 0-60 mph time of just over eight seconds isn’t anything to write home about for an EV, but it certainly feels quicker than that, and there’s a nice linear feel to the way you accelerate; even selecting the ‘Sport’ setting doesn’t lock the driver in his seat.

How does it look?

It’s the styling that really sets the Funky Cat apart. You see, while most electric family hatchbacks prefer a modern, even futuristic look, GWM Ora has gone for a more retro look.

The massive headlights and curvaceous hood perhaps mimic a Porsche 911, and two of the four color combinations on offer have a slight ’50s American flavor. That said, the taillight bar is more on-trend. , even if it’s strobing like KITT from Knight Rider.

As it is inside?

The first surprise is how well the Funky Cat drives, and the second is how luxurious it is inside. There’s a solid feel inside: the doors sound like an ID.3, but the material quality far surpasses the German electric hatchback in every way.

Most surfaces are covered with stitched leatherette or soft-touch plastic, and the switchgear feels good: the row of chrome vent controls even has the look and feel of a Mini. The Funky Cat has two 10.25-inch screens, and while there are plenty of features, the menus are a bit clunky and hard to use on the go. And while we’re talking about things that could be improved, passenger space is more than adequate, but the boot, at 228 liters, is a bit small.

First Ride: Can Electric GWM or Funky Cat Get the Cream?

Inside Ora Funky Cat

How is the specification?

This is where Funky Cat ends up with its tail between its legs, as only a top-spec First Edition is on offer at the moment.

You can’t fault the equipment that comes as standard, as the Funky Cat has those displays, power-adjustable front seats, and a 360-degree parking camera. In fact, parking assist is just the beginning, as the Funky Cat has received a full five-star safety rating from NCAP due to its suite of safety gadgets. Features like lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert with braking function, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-change assist are usually part of rivals’ pricey option package, but not with the Funky Cat .

However, there is a but. When the Funky Cat was first raised for the UK, a £25,000 price tag was hinted at, but this first edition is £31,995. While cheaper versions will follow, that’s a lot of money for a car from an unknown make. For comparison, an MG4 Trophy Long Range can travel further (270 miles) and costs £31,495, while a Cupra Born has a 20 per cent larger battery, is more powerful, costs just £4,500 more and is more nice to drive.


It’s a shame that GWM Ora decided to offer such a highly-specified First Edition trim level at the car’s launch, as the car’s high price relative to its 193-mile range and limited dealer network make it hard to find. sell. Plus, the car’s cheesy styling and quality interior are the only things that make it stand out in a market currently focused on range and affordability.

However, there is a good car that drives very well below the luxurious specifications, and the Funky Cat (the name is a perfect example) adds a sense of fun and character to the typical family electric car that can very often seem like a little straight.

The next cheaper models will probably make more sense, but on this first impression, there’s a lot to like about the Funky Cat.

facts at a glance

  • Model: GWM Ora Funky Cat First Edition
  • Price: £31,995
  • Tested Price: £32,790
  • Powertrain: single engine and 48kWh battery
  • Power: 169bhp
  • Torque: 250Nm
  • 0-60 mph: 8.1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 99mph
  • Economic: N/A
  • Emissions: N/A
  • Range: 193 miles

Keyword: First ride: Can the Ora Funky Cat electric GWM get the cream?

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