Other cars from China are heading to the European market. Already in November, the giant Great Wall Motor wants to open orders for models of its brands Ora and Wey. Both are presented at the mobility fair in Munich, which has replaced the Frankfurt Motor Show since this year. And the former attempts of Chinese brands are far removed from the news.
Non-fitting parts, copied design, smelly plastics, and glue everywhere, just not where it should be. Chinese cars do not have the best reputation due to the first attempts to import them into Europe some fifteen years ago. Since then, cars from the Middle Kingdom have moved a long way. Often also due to the fact that the manufacturers simply bought a renowned American or European manufacturer.
Ora and Wey's products also show how much Chinese cars have moved in recent years. Both belong to the portfolio of the Great Wall Motor Group, as well as Haval and Tank, which sold 618,000 cars in the first half of this year - more than half more than last year. It is also the largest Chinese SUV manufacturer.
While Ora wants to breakthrough in Europe with compact electric cars, Wey is trying it with plug-in hybrid SUVs. Both brands will begin their European journey in Germany (the first Wey sales center will open in Munich in early 2022), but subsequently, they would like to expand further. There are, of course, other large markets: France, Italy, the United Kingdom, or Spain.
Pre-orders will be launched in November this year, deliveries to customers are to begin in the first half of next year, and Great Wall wants to build its own dealer network. Autocar also writes that the Chinese will not only build a new production plant in Europe (they have once unsuccessfully made cars with a local partner in Bulgaria), but will also begin research and development there.
The Ora 01 Cat is a 4235 mm long five-door hatchback with a wheelbase stretched to 2650 mm. Thanks to a 63 kWh battery, it can travel up to 400 km on a single charge, and the manufacturer also claims that it is in the WLTP cycle. The maximum power is 126 kW, so at 100 km / h the car gets out of rest in 8.5 seconds. The engine is located at the front and thus drives the front wheels, the basis of the car is the LEMON platform of the Great Wall concern for electric cars.
Polarizing can be a design called retrofuturistic, which does not deny inspiration from some European models. After all, he is backed by former Porsche designer Emanuel Derta, who now works for the Xpeng brand. The car completely lacks the classic rear lights, the light strip is located in the rear window. There were two versions on display at the stand - one was more luxurious, the other with the designation 02 Cat GT received a diffuser, extended fenders, wing, or several aerodynamic elements in imitation carbon. So he plays a much sportier note.
Where the "inspiration" by European models is most evident in the interior. The combined screen of alarms and infotainment with a diagonal of 20.5 inches is similar to that of the Mercedes, while the chrome buttons of the most important functions do not deny the inspiration of the British Mini. In any case, Ora bet on soft plastics, at least for the cars on display. The sportier GT design received red dashboard elements, the classic design with a blue and white body has the same color-matched cab.
Due to the wheelbase, there is quite a lot of space at the rear, definitely more than, for example, in the similarly long Renault Mégane E-Tech. The manufacturer also promises rich safety and assistance equipment, including a panoramic camera system, automatic reversing, or a helper for driving on the highway. Many elements should be standard.
In addition to the Cat hatchback, which can be pre-ordered via the Internet and which was also presented in the racing variant, a model with the name 03 Cat also appeared on the stand. The significantly larger four-door coupe, again by Emanuel Derta, looks like a scaled-down version of the Porsche Panamer and will probably not appear in Europe until sometime in 2023. The car would offer an 82kWh battery, more power than a standard hatchback, and 450 km range on a single charge.
Wey, the premium part of the Great Wall, has tried this several times in Europe. He exhibited, for example, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017 and 2019, but he never managed to sell his SUVs on the old continent. That should change this year or next. And the secret weapon in the fight against the competition is to be a plug-in hybrid SUV Coffee 01. With a length of 4870 mm and a wheelbase of 2910 mm, the novelty is only a hair smaller than the BMW X5.
While hybrids today travel a maximum of about 50 to 60 electric kilometers into a single-charge outlet, Wey can handle up to 150 km on a single charge. This is because there is a 41.8kWh battery in the bowels. For comparison, for example, the plug-in hybrid X5 has 22.29 kWh. The SUV Coffee 01 has one electric motor on each axle, and the front is complemented by a petrol supercharged two-liter with an output of 150 kW. Together, the carmaker reports 350 kW and 847 Nm of power, so the acceleration can be handled by a 2.2-ton car in five seconds.
Another advantage of SUVs is to be connectivity. Wey Coffee 01 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip (the same is what Ora Cat has, among other things), which can offer high computing power. In addition, it also offers a 5G internet connection, wi-fi, face recognition, remote updates, and, of course, a 7.5-inch augmented reality display. There are digital alarm clocks in front of the driver, and the 14.6-inch central display is complemented by a nine-inch screen for climate control. The physical buttons on the center panel are completely missing.
The exterior design of the car is relatively elegant, compared to some older Wey models, it is definitely a step forward. In addition to displays, the manufacturer also tried to use vegan materials in the cabin, and everything then looks luxurious at first glance. There is also plenty of space at the back in front of the knees and above the head. The newspaper Handelsblatt estimates that the price of the car could be around 50 thousand euros, which is about 1.27 million crowns.
In addition to the European version of the Coffee 01 model, the carmaker also showed the Coffee 02 model, which is slightly smaller and should be cheaper, as well as the futuristic iNest 2.0 concept with a spacious interior, in which seats in three rows can be configured differently, and a combined display via the full width of the dashboard. The concept is also equipped with a number of modern technologies.