The Ora Funky Cat wants to be a cool friend by name, because in China the cat and not the dog is considered the faithful companion of man - so much for international understanding. Let's see what the compact electric car can do.
The wind has turned. It's blowing from the east now. Today it's even sweeping across Mallorca with hurricane force, where we're driving the new Ora Funky Cat . Yes, the weather could hardly fit the theme better. After all, Chinese electric cars want to take the German market by storm. So does Ora, which is one of eight brands belonging to China's oldest privately owned automaker, Great Wall Motor (GWM). To this end, the e-car brand is cooperating with BMW on the next Mini.
Style mix of Mini, Nissan, Leaf and Fiat 500e
And that can't be overlooked: Because the Funky Cat shines like the English style icon from round LED headlights. Of course, it is also based on its future electric platform. However, with a length of 4.24 meters, it is more compact than small-sized and is based on the first Nissan Leaf and Fiat 500e with its silhouette and rear. So much for the mix of styles, which can only be individualized with seven colors including the roof and adapts to the color of the interior depending on the paintwork. There are five fixed equipment variants with two battery sizes: 48 kWh and 63 kWh (gross). The basic version called 300 – the number stands for the rounded WLTP range – is already well equipped, offers a five-year guarantee and crashes with five stars at Euro NCAP.
It's also great how funky the cat looks on the inside: Finely quilted, partly neoprene-like fabrics combine to form a stylish living capsule without rattling. A sensor on the A-pillar constantly monitors them, while the fully air-conditioned, somewhat laterally supportless seats of the 400 Pro+ version massage your back. It's almost as easy to snuggle up in the second row thanks to the ample legroom and sufficient headroom. It's just stupid that there is hardly any space left for luggage at the back. With 228 to 858 liters, the trunk, which has a high loading sill, is minimalist, especially since the charging cable travels with it. The charging speed is also rather modest: With a maximum of 67 kW, it should take around three quarters of an hour at the CCS column until the SOC has climbed from 15 to 80 percent. At the AC wall box, full charging takes around six hours with three phases and 11 kW.
Hello Ora: sunroof open!
A lot of time that is best spent with voice control: In the pre-series version without Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, "Hallo Ora" understands a lot, but not always everything if there is no reception. Windows, sunroof, tailgate and air conditioning can be chatted up intuitively. Colloquial terms should also be actively learned.Nevertheless, one disadvantage remains: Except for four mini-like chrome toggle switches in the middle, you can fiddle with most of the vehicle functions using the small touchscreen surfaces or the touch-sensitive fields on the steering wheel. Ora warns anyone who gets distracted for too long: "Don't be absent-minded! Please concentrate while driving."
So let's focus on the essentials: driving. What you might not think the plump Funky Cat is capable of: it is definitely fun to drive. Its permanently excited synchronous motor at the front mobilizes 126 kW (171 hp) and releases a maximum of 250 Nm of torque to the front wheels. Sounds like manageable performance, and yet the Pirelli P7 often struggle for stability when starting off, while the Funky Cat sprints to 100 km/h in a little faster than 8.2 seconds.
Finally scratching corners
On the winding country roads through the Mallorcan mountains, paved for racing bikes, the chassis is appealing with its balanced, sporty set-up. It offers good suspension comfort even without adaptive damper trickery and only roughly reaches transverse joints with standard 18-inch wheels. In general, the often-cited low center of gravity of the centrally placed battery in the vehicle floor has a positive effect on the handling of the 1.6-tonner. The Funky Cat stays neutral in curves for a long time, sways little and only pushes safely over the front wheels when it reaches the limit.
The sport mode is usually active. Not only because full power is then available, but also because the steering works a little more precisely without giving too much feedback. On the other hand, Ora shows more sensitivity when it comes to tuning the brake system: the transition from electrical to mechanical deceleration is hardly noticeable and the energy recovery when required is so strong that you rarely have to use the pedal to decelerate. It's just a shame that the three recuperation levels and the one-pedal mode are hidden deep in a submenu. Anyone who is on the move quickly or exhausts the maximum possible 160 km/h will hardly reach the maximum range, which Ora specifies as 310 to 420 kilometers depending on the battery size. Driving fast is not much fun anyway, because the wind breaks loudly on the A-pillar from 100 km/h. In addition, the distance cruise control and lane keepers act safely, but up to a maximum of 120 km/h.
Not cheap, but with an established dealer network
And that's how quickly we get to the price. The Ora Funky Cat 300 starts without a heat pump and with a small battery at 38,990 euros. For the extensively equipped 400 Pro+ driven here, including a 63 kWh battery, prices start at 47,490 euros. In other words, confident prices that take the wind out of the sails of the rush to over 140 Emil Frey dealers.
With its retro design and well-balanced driving comfort, Ora attracts all those who place less value on transport tasks, fast loading or intuitive operation into the fine-looking Funky Cat. The five-year guarantee and the large dealer network are good arguments for this.