Ora Is Going The Copycat Route With The Lightning Cat And Punk Cat EVs

  • Apr 21, 2021
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The two controversial EVs certainly garnered a lot of eyeballs at the Auto Shanghai 2021

 

It’s no secret that carmakers at times take design inspiration from their competitor’s models for their own models, with some inspiration down to a partnership between carmakers where a model is rebadged. But Great Wall Motors’ sub-brand, Ora, certainly raised eyebrows at Auto Shanghai 2021 with the Lightning Cat And Punk Cat EVs. The reason for that is, both EVs look like knockoff models of some well known Volkswagens and Porsches. Knockoffs aside, both models have differing views from our side. Here’s all about them:

 

Punk Cat

While this EV is clearly an inspiration of the original venerable Volkswagen Beetle, they’ve done a pretty good job of not only honoring the Bug but also giving it a trendy makeover. The EV is draped in a nice mix of dark green, black and ivory. Modern bits include funky circular taillights and wheels inspired from the Fiat Panda. What’s more, it's a five-door model, which makes it more practical than the original Bug.

The cabin looks retro, modern and pretty posh, with what looks like leather and soft-touch materials all over, in a mix of green, pink and ivory shades. Sparkly inserts on the AC vents, door handles and the Beetle-inspired steering wheel add a nice touch of bling. Of course there are modern creature comforts like the heated seats, and steering wheel, and a large horizontal touchscreen infotainment system. 

Ora mentioned that the Punk Cat will cater to women, and it's clear to see with what it calls a Princess Seat", where the seat will automatically level, and the infotainment system will automatically play your favorite music. There’s also a makeup mirror with a circular LED fill light. While technical specifications haven’t been unveiled, we do know that it is an all-electric vehicle. 

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In our eyes, the Punk Cat EV is a modern and cutesy interpretation of an electric Beetle. And we’re not surprised that it has managed to grab eyeballs at Auto Shanghai 2021 for the right reasons.



Lightning Cat  

While the Punk Cat was actually a nice little knockoff Beetle, we can’t really say the same for the Lightning Cat. At a glance it looks to have taken inspiration from the first-gen Porsche Panemera, especially up front, but it's more of a downgrade. The oval headlights lights are smaller and look a bit too simple.

In the quest for something unique, Ora may have overdone it with the alloy wheels, as they look like a clay mashup. The rear-end may have a nice curvy roofline, but it looks a bit too similar to a Volkswagen Beetle. As a whole, a weird mashup between a Porsche Panemera and a Volkswagen Beetle that hasn’t really blended well.

At least the cabin is a better sight to see with a tan upholstery all around, and a sporty three-spoke steering wheel. That being said, the touchscreen infotainment system could have had a better blending to the dashboard instead of looking like it was an aftermarket add-on. It does get some nifty tech like Level 3+ autonomous driving assistance, and full-scenario intelligent automatic parking.

Technical details are scarce, but the Lightning Cat’s electric powertrain boasts some pretty respectable numbers, like a 0-100kmph sprint within 4 seconds. It also features an active rear wing like the Panamera to provide optimum aero performance for different situations.

While the Ora Lightning Cat EV gets some nifty modern tech and performance on tap, it probably isn’t the ideal pick if you’re going for aesthetics.

As whole, Ora seems to have done a hit and miss with the Punk Cat and Lightning Cat EVs. The former does a nice job of making a knockoff easy on the eyes, with a little modern flair in its arsenal. On the other hand, the Lightning Cat reminds us of the phrase ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’. By that we mean, the EV’s design is a weird mix and match of very different models, which spoiled its appeal.

 

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