Chinese electric brand Ora will begin selling a saloon rival to the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 in the UK next year, the company has said.

The car was previewed at the Paris motor show on Monday by the near-production-ready Next Cat concept, which will be renamed by the time it goes on sale.

Codenamed EC24, the new car will have two battery sizes with the larger of the two capable of driving 700km (435 miles) on a single charge based on China’s official range tests, Ora’s European head Fei Yao told Autocar at the show. 

The new saloon will go on sale alongside the Funky Cat compact hatchback, deliveries of which start at the end of the year in the UK.

“The Funky Cat is the volume car and the Next Cat will be the flagship that can powerfully upgrade the brand position and image for Ora,” said Yao.

The concept comes with two electric motors to give it all-wheel-drive capability and a 0-62mph time of 4.3sec. Equipment includes a 12.3in central touchscreen, remote control via the Ora app, face ID opening and starting and a panoramic sunroof.

Ora is part of the Great Wall group, which is also developing the new electric Mini along with BMW

The Funky Cat, which is pitched against electric cars like the Volkswagen ID 3 and MG 4, will cost from £31,995 and come with a 48kWh battery for a range of 193 miles. The price has increased since the beginning of May when it was first announced due to the loss of the £1500 purchase grant in the UK.

The brand also showed a GT variant of the Funky Cat at Paris that it said indicated a future trim level, possibly linked to larger battery sizes planned for later in its cycle. 

Ora will introduce an compact electric SUV in 2024, too, as part of its new-model offensive in European markets, including the UK, said Yao. The brand plans to launch one model a year for Europe as it seeks to expand its footprint. Small cars will also follow. “HQ has already received our requirements for the small SUV and a small car and they are working on it,” said Yao.

Great Wall also showed off the Coffee 01 plug-in hybrid SUV from its premium Wey brand at the Paris show, but there are no plans to launch this in the UK. The firm believes that the UK is too far down the EV route to justify the cost of engineering the car for right-hand drive, added Yao.


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