Ora Lightning Cat: Second electric car from GWM

After the Ora Funky Cat, a second e-car from GWM is to come onto the German market under the Ora label. We were allowed to test drive the Lightning Cat exclusively.

Hardly anything can be discussed as well as design. Some find it original and funny, while others may find it exaggerated and kitschy. And when orienting oneself to large role models, the drawing pen can get off track in a grandiose manner. None of this seems to deter the designers at the GWM (Great Wall Motor) Ora electronics department. After the Funky Cat comes the next cat, the Ora Lightning Cat. In other markets it should simply run under Ora Sport, for Europe it has been agreed on Lightning Cat.

The design of the new cat is a touch more extravagant than the Funky Cat, reminiscent of a mixture of the Porsche Panamera and the Bugatti Galibier study from 2009. The paint with the manufacturer's designation "Diamond Pink" underlines the exaltation of the design not insignificantly . Incidentally, the body not only looks quite streamlined, it is. The drag coefficient is 0.22.

Looks more compact on the inside than it looks from the outside

By the way, it's not yet clear when and at what prices we can look forward to the car. But we are allowed to drive, namely on the test site of the Australian Automotive Research Center near Anglesea, Victoria. The area appears very extensive and branched, half the size of the Saarland seems rather understated than exaggerated. A small part of it is a huge asphalt oval with a junction that leads into a winding section downhill and uphill again, which the Vulkaneifel couldn't have done any nicer. ,

Although the Lightning is not a small car, 4,871 millimeters long, 1,500 millimeters high and with a wheelbase of 2,870 millimeters, it looks rather compact from the driver's seat. The cockpit is very stylish, but also quite narrow. Bright leather covers many surfaces, everything looks clean and very neatly finished. A gracefully floating center console offers space for a few handy control buttons, including air conditioning functions. There is also an extensive package of assistance systems, including remote-controlled parking via a smartphone app, Face ID, all-round cameras or a front camera for obstacle detection.

A range of up to 705 km

There will be two versions: a front-wheel drive vehicle with a 150 kW motor and 63 kWh battery, which is said to have a range of 550 km, and an all-wheel drive vehicle with two motors, a total of 300 kW and 680 Nm. Its battery has a capacity of 85 kWh and is said to enable ranges of up to 705 km. The importer's data sheet promises 83.49 kWh and a range of 405 km as well as consumption of 20.5 kWh/100 km. But even these are not definitive homologation dates.,

The new one is also similar to its platform brother Funky Cat in terms of charging capacity: A maximum of 80 kW is possible with the DC charger, it takes 55 minutes for the 83.5 kWh battery to go from zero to 80 percent SOC. Some of the competition is much faster there. Accordingly, more than eight hours pass on the 11 kW wall box.

Artificial sound in sport mode

The start is typically unspectacular in electric cars. There is no start button, as soon as a person with the key is on board, the car is ready to start. The gears are engaged with a Mercedes-style steering column lever, everything is easy to grip and largely self-explanatory. After that, the Lightning floats away relaxed, the 150 kW of the drive seem more gentle than effervescent. After all, the 150 kW have to move an unladen weight of 2,200 kg.

From about 100 km/h on the huge oval, it starts to hiss around the frameless windows of the doors, but the noise doesn't get any more intrusive. In sport mode, artificial sound underlines the acceleration process, so less might be more. The top speed is 180 km/h, but we never got that fast during the test drive. ,

Even in the curve section, the e-car stays calm, steers cleanly and directly, although the steering only responds very carefully and is a bit too easy to respond. Incidentally, while driving, you can let a very complex Harman Kardon sound system over a total of eleven loudspeakers fill you with sound.

Quickly take a seat in the rear - the coupé shape severely restricts the headroom for larger rear passengers. The Lightning is only suitable to a limited extent as an electrified chauffeur-driven limousine, but all the more so as a stylish design object that also drives very neatly. The question of prices remains. There is nothing more precise yet. The Lightning Cat shouldn't be available in Germany at dumping rates, after all, the significantly smaller and much more modest Funky Cat costs at least 38,990 euros. ,


It remains to be seen whether the Lightning Cat will appeal to European e-customers. The car from the GWM group is definitely an extravagant enrichment of the otherwise rather sober electric market in Europe.


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