What's actually going on with Ora? The Ora Funky Cat was launched in Germany at the beginning of 2023; shortly afterwards, our Motor1.com colleagues in Germany tested its VW ID.3 rival. They didn't like it too much and criticised its handling and appearance.

Last year, the brand, which belongs to Great Wall Motors, sold almost 4,600 units of the compact car. However, the Chinese group was apparently not satisfied with this, and so the model was renamed GWM Ora 03 in November. Since then, not much has been heard from the brand, and with 360 units sold in the first quarter, sales success also declined.

But now our colleagues from the British magazine Autocar have driven the brand's second electric model: the GWM Ora 07, formerly known as the Lightning Cat. The car is due to be launched on the British market in the summer.

GWM Ora 07 (Lightning Cat) as right-hand drive (2023): The exterior

The car is a four-door saloon with a small boot lid. However, the black contrasting upper section is not part of it, but represents a retractable rear wing. Despite its considerable length of almost five metres, the car is intended to compete with compact models such as the Opel-Vauxhall Astra Electric, which is available from £37,795.

There is a choice between front-wheel and all-wheel drive and two batteries. The entry-level Pure and Pro versions have a 204 PS front-wheel drive and an LFP battery with 64 kWh for a range of 273 miles. The Pro Plus version has the same drive, but with an 83 kWh NMC battery, it has a range of 354 miles. Finally, the top-of-the-range GT version is the only one with all-wheel drive and, with its 408 PS, completes the standard sprint in 4.5 seconds. However, the range here shrinks to 323 miles, reports Auto Motor Sport.

Technical data of the GWM Ora 07 (prototype)

  • Front or all-wheel drive
  • System output / torque: 204 or 408 PS / up to 680 Nm
  • 0-62 mph / top speed: 4.5 seconds (GT) / 112 mph
  • Battery / WLTP range: 64 kWh (LFP) or 83 kWh (NMC) / 273 or 354 miles
  • Maximum DC charging power: approx. 95 kW
  • Dimensions: approx. 5 m long / 1.86 m wide / 1.50 m high / 2.87 m wheelbase
  • Unladen weight: 2,183 kg
  • Base price: approx. £35,000
GWM Ora 07 (Lightning Cat) as right-hand drive (2023): The exterior

As far as the appearance of the Ora 07 is concerned, the car is also said to look strange in the flesh. The Autocar tester speaks of incongruous proportions and a "pug-like face". Due to the design, this car will probably not sell, according to the judgement. So Ora prefers to emphasise the favourable financing and the extensive standard equipment.  

Another plus point is the spacious interior with room for four adults. The driving behaviour and steering are also said to have improved compared to the Ora 03. The power unfolds smoothly and the Micheln tyres provide good grip, according to the tester. However, the strong recuperation, the overzealous safety systems and the "poor" infotainment are criticised. The body also wobbles when cornering at speeds of around 37 mph. 

GWM Ora 07 (Lightning Cat) as right-hand drive (2023)GWM Ora 07 (Lightning Cat) as right-hand drive (2023): The interior

However, the interior is well above the level that can be expected at the advertised prices. The artificial leather interior and the comfortable seats are praised. However, the car does not appear to be for tall people: even at a moderate height of 1.80 metres, the roofline is always in view.

The bottom line

The look of the GWM Ora 07 is reminiscent of the Porsche Panamera in terms of the bodywork, but looks very strange to Europeans. The Chinese manufacturer has probably recognised this and is hesitating with the market launch. They are probably waiting to see how the car is received in the UK before venturing into markets such as Germany. The brand is apparently focussing primarily on a low price and good standard equipment.

Gallery: GWM Ora Lightning Cat pre-production UK car

Photo by: Great Wall