Great Wall brings retro urban EV and 469bhp PHEV SUV to Europe

Share story2 mins read6 September 2021

Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors is planning an imminent European launch for its new electrified car brands: Ora and Wey. The company is already known here for commercial vehicles including the Steed pick-up truck, but this announcement marks its first foray into the passenger car segment, following other Chinese brands including Nio and Xpeng. The first models to arrive in early 2022, with orders opening in Germany from the end of this year, will be the Wey Coffee 01, a premium-oriented plug-in hybrid SUV, and the Ora Cat, a retro-styled electric supermini.

UK orders are expected to open in the following months.  Prices for each will be confirmed closer to their European launch dates. Ora Cat

The Ora Cat (the Good Cat in China) “has the potential to be a gamechanger”, according to its maker. It’s based on Great Wall’s Lemon platform and promises a maximum range of around 249 miles.

It’s powered by a single electric motor producing 169bhp and 184lb ft, which can send it from 0-31mph in 3.8sec, and comes equipped with numerous driver assistance systems not “seen before in the lower mid-segment”.  Great Wall intends for Ora to become a “completely new lifestyle brand”, and despite its compact size and accessible billing, the Cat comes with much of the advanced technology of the Wey Coffee 01.  Wey Coffee 01

Wey was originally confirmed for a European launch in 2019, with the ambition of taking on BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the upmarket SUV segment. Its delayed launch will be spearheaded by the Coffee 01 flagship, which is called the Mocha in its home market.

It’s named in reference to Coffee Intelligence, Wey’s bespoke AI-based connectivity platform, which counts 5G and wi-fi connectivity, face recognition and augmented-reality interfaces among its headline features. It’s controlled via a 14.0in touchscreen, while the system “actively learns” the user’s habits and is updated through over-the-air software downloads. The SUV is said to be “particularly fun to drive” with a 0-31mph time of just 2.7sec in electric-only mode.

Notably, its 41.8kWh battery endows it with a claimed electric-only range of 93 miles – far more than any plug-in hybrid currently on sale in the UK. A 2.0-litre petrol engine making 201bhp takes care of propulsion otherwise, and Wey claims a total system output of 469bhp, making the Coffee 01 more powerful than the Volkswagen Touareg R hot PHEV SUV. Beyond the chrome-clad exterior styling, Great Wall highlights the Coffee 01’s sustainable, vegan-friendly interior materials as a sign of its “consideration for ecological concerns”.

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