Ora Funky Cat: on board the electric feline that wants to bite into the Fiat 500

Ora Funky Cat: on board the electric feline that wants to bite into the Fiat 500

On the occasion of the EVS35 exhibition in Oslo dedicated to electric cars, we were able to meet the Ora Funky Cat from China. We boarded this future competitor to the Fiat 500 and Volkswagen ID.3 and came away very enthusiastic! Expected arrival in France in the coming months.

Some cars are legendary and have marked entire generations. This is the case of the Volkswagen Beetle, but also of the Fiat 500 or even the Mini Cooper. And justly, Ora Funky Cat is inspired, among other things, by these three models, to offer an affordable and compact but very complete and very attractive electric car. In May 2022, the Chinese brand Ora of the GWM group announced the arrival of its Funky Cat model in the United Kingdom for fall 2022.

The car will also be available in other European countries, and in particular in France. as confirmed by the brand present at the EVS35 show in Oslo, but on a date not communicated for the moment. Still, our meeting with the Funky Cat was rich in lessons and discoveries. The Chinese brand presented three Funky Cats in different colors and finishes on its stand. We thus had the right to the classic finish, but also to the GT finish, for lovers of sportinesseven if the differences between the two are only cosmetic.

Exterior design: a small compact

In any case, we are facing a car halfway between the compact and the city car although the external dimensions (4,235 x 1,825 x 1,603 mm) bring it more than a Volkswagen ID.3 than a Fiat 500. But it is true that its slightly neo-retro look with visual elements borrowed almost everywhere from the competition, it gives it more of a city car look than a compact one. Its round headlights at the front, which are reminiscent of a mix between a Mini and a Porsche, totally denote its rear hatch on which a very long LED acts as rear headlights.

On the GT version, there are diffusers under the front and rear bumpers as well asa spoiler above the tailgate that adds a sporty temperament to the car. The sport finish also adds plastic wheel arches which reinforce the silhouette of the car. We have the impression of being faced with a sports car, even if the interior betrays the much more typical comfort character of the Funky Cat.

A colorful interior

Inside, precisely, the Chinese brand wanted to play it high-end. If you find the interior of a Fiat 500 a little too “plastic”, you will be delighted by the interior offered by Ora. The leatherette seats, the material of which is found throughout the cabin (door sills, dashboard, armrests, etc.) give a cachet to the car with a very warm and very soft side. The colors offered by the Chinese brand (green, burgundy, gray, black) contribute to the vintage side of the whole. Especially since the finishes are meticulous and the use of well-made materials make Ora’s Funky Cat a serious car.

The first thing that strikes you when you take the driver’s seat is legroom and width. We don’t feel like we’re in a compact car and the center console doesn’t interfere with the right knee at all. We feel comfortable, but with the feeling of having in our hands a city car rather than a road car, due to the lack of comfort element since the central console is quite small and low. It is also on this central console that we will find the wheel to choose the different driving modes (forward, reverse, neutral and parking).

The interior is quite open: we don’t have a closed driving position like on some competition cars. The visual sensation which emanates from it thus becomes very pleasant. In the back, we are left with three seats, including two real seats. At the level of the legs, there is room even for tall people. The middle seat should be reserved for short journeys and short people. It is possible to take advantage instead of a removable armrest which acts as a backrest when it is closed.

A tiny box!

The trunk, with a capacity of 228 litres, offers good roominess despite the fact that the wheel arches eat up a little space on the sides. This is surely the most constraining point of the Funky Cat, since the Volkswagen ID.3 offers 185 liters more! The low volume of the trunk therefore brings the Funky Cat a little closer to a city car.

Ora Funky Cat EVS-00011

An innovative embedded system with 2 screens

The little extra of the Funky Cat is its on-board system. The software part is indeed remarkable fluidity and the very convincing and hyper-colored design. There is a 10.25-inch screen for the instrument cluster and a second screen of similar size (and fully touch-sensitive) for infotainment, in the middle of the dashboard.

The prototype in which we took place did not run the latest version of the operating system, but the production vehicle will be well equipped with it, with a visual interface revised for the occasion. The operating system provides artificial intelligence functions : a camera called the “Driving Monitor System” constantly monitors the driver’s face and will adjust certain features (such as heated, ventilated and massaging seats) depending on their condition.

It is this camera that allows the Ora Funky Cat to be ready for level 3 autonomous driving. It is not yet known whether the car will be allowed to use these features (Mercedes allows level 3 autonomous driving only on German autobahns with its EQS), but customers will at least have the right to level 2 autonomous drivingthanks to the adaptive cruise control coupled with the lane keeping assistance.

Available in Europe from 2022

From a technical point of view, the Ora Funky Cat offers a 48 kWh battery for an announced range of 193 WLTP miles (310 km). Efficiency is not his forte, since a Renault Zoe with its 50 kWh battery promises a range of 390 km. In terms of performance, the brand indicates a 0 to 100 in 8.3 seconds thanks to a 171 horsepower motor positioned on the front axle and a torque of 250 Nm. For recharging, it is necessary to count on a power of 80 kW in DC and 11 kW in three-phase AC or 6.6 kW in single-phase.

The big unknown remains the price and availability in France. In the UK, the Ora Funky Cat will be available at the end of the year at a price of 30,495 pounds, or around 36,000 euros. Now all that remains is to wait and hope that this little compact can one day roll on our roads.

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