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Coming soon: New GWM ORA saloon is Tesla Model 3 rival

GWM ORA's second model to arrive in UK in early 2024, with more power and luxury than the Funky Cat

Lawrence Allan Lawrence Allan
28th Apr 2023
5min Read
Coming soon: New GWM ORA saloon is Tesla Model 3 rival

Key details of the GWM ORA saloon

  • Expected range of over 300 miles from 83kWh battery
  • Two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options with up to 394bhp
  • On sale in early 2024, pricing to be announced

What is the GWM ORA saloon?

The as-yet-unnamed second model from ORA - a car brand owned by Chinese automotive giant Great Wall Motors (GWM) - due to land on UK shores at the start of 2024.

We say ‘as-yet-unnamed’ because the new car, which will join the smaller and cheaper ORA Funky Cat, won’t have its UK name announced until later this year. In China, where the model (codenamed EC24) has been on sale since 2022, it’s known as the ORA Lightning Cat.

Potentially, erm, quirky name aside, the new model is a four-door electric saloon destined to go head-to-head against the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6. It will also have competition in the form of the Polestar 2 and Kia EV6.

Why should I get excited by the GWM ORA saloon?

Let’s be honest, the days of Chinese cars playing second-fiddle to western cars are well and truly over, particularly when it comes to EVs. The market is much more mature than it is here, with nearly six million electric cars sold there in 2022.

As such, Chinese makers such as GWM and its brands (such as ORA, HAVAL and WEY) should be taken very seriously. Despite its striking, almost Porsche-like design (described as “retro futuristic”) the new ORA saloon is expected to offer an affordable taste of luxury and some impressive performance.

Unlike the Funky Cat it will be sold with two motor and battery options. The headline act is the dual-motor, four-wheel drive version, which promises 394bhp and a 0-62mph time of “just over” 4.4 seconds.

ORA also claims a “premium interior cabin space and fantastic specification as standard”, but further details are to be confirmed later.

What is the interior of the GWM ORA saloon like?

Not exactly dark and dingy, that’s for sure. A large, Tesla-like panoramic glass roof features, bathing the cabin in light along with the synthetic (meaning animal-free) tan leather of the pictured model.

This synthetic leather will be standard fitment, along with multi-colour ambient lighting. Equipment is also likely to include a 12.3-inch central touchscreen, facial recognition for opening and starting the car, and remote operation of features by the ORA smartphone app.

Reports also suggest that heated, ventilated and even massaging seats will be available, too, enhancing that luxury air.

The interior design itself appears to be a step above that of the Funky Cat, with sporty-looking triple-screen digital dials, suede-like dash upholstery and lashings of chrome trim throughout. If you’re a fan of the Bugatti Chiron (a multi-million pound, petrol-powered hypercar dinosaur) you might recognise the circular climate controls on the centre console, too.

Despite the sloping roof the new ORA saloon offers seating for five, while pillarless door windows also add to that classy ambience.

How much range can the GWM ORA saloon get on a charge? 

As the new ORA model has yet to be prepared for UK sale, we don’t have an officially confirmed range figure. However, ORA states that “it’s likely the UK specification will feature a range up to 300 miles WLTP”.

That’s for the four-wheel drive dual-motor model, and is just over 10% less than the Tesla Model 3 Performance and Hyundai Ioniq 6 offers. With a fairly chunky 83.5kWh battery offered in China (and very likely to be the same battery used here) the official figure could increase when it’s confirmed, however.

Interestingly, in its home market the range is quoted as 373 miles, but that’s on China’s potentially less stringent CLTC test cycle.

When will the GWM ORA saloon be available to buy or lease? 

The UK pricing and specification for the new ORA model (as well as the name) will be revealed in the coming months. But we can make an educated guess on the former.

Given the brand's ambitions and the fact the new car is its flagship model, it’s likely to cost significantly more than the Funky Cat (which is just under £32,000 to buy – you can check out leasing deals for that car and others on GRIDSERVE Car Leasing).

Expect a starting price near £40,000, though, if it’s going to be competitive with rivals from Tesla and Hyundai. Pre-orders will open in the latter part of this year, with the first cars arriving here in early 2024.

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