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GWM Ora Sport a likely starter for Oz

Swoopy five-door EV could take on rivals including Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Tesla Model 3

13 Feb 2023

GWM says its Ora Sport – known as the Ora Lightning Cat in other markets – is “under consideration” for the Australian market, a left-hand drive evaluation vehicle currently in the country for analysis as part of the Chinese brand’s business case.


Replete with animated cat graphics and ‘meow’ sounds upon start-up, the all-electric medium sedan offers much the same running gear as its hatch counterpart, to be known simply as the Ora locally but as the Ora Good Cat overseas, with the option of 48kWh standard range and 63kWh extended range battery options.


Speaking to Australian journalists at a preview drive of the latest GWM products recently, GWM Australia and New Zealand head of marketing and communications, Steve Maciver, said the model “is under consideration for Australia as part of our expansion of hybrid and electric vehicles… it is yet to be confirmed (but) we are studying it closely”.


There is no word on price yet, although with the Ora (Good Cat) retailing for well under $50K, the Ora Sport is expected to have similarly attractive pricing should it be given the go-ahead for Australia, comfortably undercutting its nearest direct rivals, the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6.


Standard range vehicles offer a lithium-ion phosphate battery, with extended range versions utilising a larger nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) unit. DC fast charging is said to take 30 minutes to take the state of charge from 30 to 80 per cent.


Single and dual (permanent magnet synchronous) motor versions of the Ora Sport are available from GWM, the former offering 150kW/340Nm with a driving range of 555km (CLTC) and the latter with 300kW/680Nm and 705km (China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle) driving range. All figures are provided courtesy of Chinese specifications and may differ if the model is offered locally.


The swoopy sedan is well specified with 19-inch alloy wheels, frameless doors, split panoramic roof, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats with massage functionality, as well as an electrically activated pop-up spoiler.


A comprehensive driver assistance package which includes auto parking is also featured on the high-grade variant.


The Ora Lightning Cat scored a five-star EuroNCAP rating when tested in 2022 and recently won the Top Safety award in its home market.


Dual screens, the instrument panel measuring 10.25 inches and the infotainment array 12.3 inches, and head-up display are also offered, each bringing an expected level of connectivity.


The Ora Sport offers six driving modes: Eco, Standard, Sport, Goddess, Custom and Supersport, but oddly, just four paint colours.


Inside, the Ora Sport offers a number of handy cubbies and seating for five. There are USB ports available throughout and an inductive charging pad up front. ISOFIX and top-tether style child seat anchorages are provided in the outboard rear seats. The rear seats fold flat to liberate more cargo space


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