The highly anticipated ORA Ballet Cat has been finally launched in China. The car made headlines due to its striking resemblance with the iconic Volkswagen Beetle, ever since it first appeared in patent drawings in 2021 along with the Punk Cat concept at the Shanghai Auto Show from a couple of years ago.
ORA is a sub brand under Great Wall Motors (GWM), the same company responsible for making Haval brand of crossovers. According to GWM, the ORA Ballet Cat is exclusively aimed at women not only because of the colors or aesthetics, but some special women-specific features.
As seen before, the design of Ballet Cat is largely inspired by the iconic VW Beetle but with some modifications of course. The most obvious is the presence of rear doors, since the original Beetle had only 2 doors. Plus ORA is essentially an electric-vehicle brand so the Ballet Cat is an EV which means there is no engine & transmission but just a battery and a motor.
Exterior of ORA Ballet Cat
In terms of design the Ballet Cat has loads of retro-inspired styling mimicking those on the original Beetle, for example the bumpers, vintage looking chrome alloy wheels, similar VW-like door handles and those bulging side mirrors. However the Ballet Cat is larger than it seems, measuring 4,401/1,880/1,633mm with a 2,750 wheelbase. Compared to this the new Beetle measured 4,278/1,808/1,486 with a 2,537 wheelbase.
The interior looks cool with use of soft pastel colors, to make it attractive for women as well as some design cues relating to the classic Beetle. The steering wheel is large and round with an inner half-circle that operates the horn, just like on cars in the 60’s and 70’s. The dashboard gets a large oval-shaped pod with dual screens that act as an information cluster and a multimedia unit.
The central tunnel has a wireless mobile charging pod which ORA calls it as “Swan Lake”, it is made of a crystal-like material that lights up with the ambient lighting system. Behind the Swan Lake sits a makeup storage compartment. The drive selector is mounted on the steering column so women won’t have to take their hands off the steering wheel to change the driving mode. It also has a large vanity mirror on either side surrounded by an LED light which ORA calls a “large-aperture makeup mirror”.
Some cool features of the ORA Ballet Cat
Since ORA says the Ballet Cat is positioned as “an elegant car for women” there are many features which are aimed specifically for women. One interesting feature is a ‘Lady Driving Mode’ which makes the vehicle easier for females to operate. The mode includes: an automatic cruise control (ACC) that keeps extra distance to vehicles ahead, voice-controlled parking, voice controlled reversing, and a extra warning system for fatigued driving.
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Then, there is a ‘Wind and Wave Mode.’ When weather conditions change for the worse, the car automatically closes the windows, adjust the air conditioning, automatically adjust the lights/wipers, and further increases the distance to vehicles ahead when the ACC is switched on.
Then, the Ballet Cat is also equipped with a selfie-camera that can share images and movies directly to social media. ORA says the steering wheel is especially designed for women too, “in line with the width of women’s shoulders and the size of the palm of a women’s hand.” Lastly the Ballet Cat also has something called ‘Warm Man Mode’ which is for that time in a month when women aren’t comfortable.
Interior & cargo space of ORA Ballet Cat
In terms of interior space the ORA Ballet Cat is generously spacious thanks to long wheelbase and the slim batteries under the floor. And unlike the classic Beetle which had engine in the rear, the space can be utilized for cargo in the Ballet Cat since the motor is located under the bonnet up front. The rear seats can be split in order to enhance the loading capacity.
The ORA Ballet Cat is powered by a single electric motor with an output of 171 hp and 250 Nm. Top speed is 155 km/h. There are two battery packs available: 49.93 kWh good for a 401 km CLTC range and a larger 60.5 kWh for a 500 km CLTC driving range. The ORA Ballet Cat is priced at 193,300 yuan (PKR 57.34 lac) for the 49.93 kWh version and 223,00 yuan (PKR 66.16 lac) for the 60.5 kWh version.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com