ORA Ballet Cat Is Cooler Than The Volkswagen Beetle Ever Was – And More Practical – And Electric – And Faster

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The ORA Ballet Cat has arrived at ORA dealers in China, ahead of its official launch on the Chinese car market later this quarter. The Ballet Cat is a little controversial because it looks somewhat similar to the original Volkswagen Beetle. That may very well be. But the ORA Ballet Cat is better: It is cooler, it more practical with four doors, it is electric, and it is faster.

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ORA is an electric car brand under Great Wall Motors. They make several small and compact electric vehicles with ‘Cat’ names, including the ORA Good Cat, the Black Cat, White Cat, and the White Cat Little Wild Cat. The only exception was the ORA iQ, am ugly sedan, but it is no longer shown on ORA’s website, so perhaps Great Wall will move it to one of their other brands. The ORA Ballet Cat is one part of a twin. The other part is called ORA Punk Cat. The Ballet Cat is aimed at the ladies, the Punk Cat at the gentlemen.

Design is ultra cool and very retro, inspired by the Beetle for sure but rather different at the same time, and that is mainly caused by the extra doors. It has pretty wide wheel arches, chrome colored bumpers, chrome door handles and trim, and brilliantly designed alloy wheels.

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The door handles are a retro masterpiece. It even has a keyhole!

Oddly, the Ballet Cats stands on 18 inch Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance SUV tires. Perhaps this has to do with the curb weight of the car: 1780 kilo, which is steep for an electric hatchback and may explain the need for a sturdy SUV tire. The Ballet Cat is, however, larger than it seems: 4401/1880/1633, with a 2750 wheelbase.

The rear looks sweet with chrome colored bumpers, lights in chrome frames, and it even has a spoiler. The rear window is large which should be great for visibility.

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The Ballet Cat is powered by a single electric motor with 171 hp and 250 Nm. The motor is located at the front, whereas the original Beetle had its engine at the back. Battery capacity is 60.5 kWh, good for a 500 kilometer CLTC range. Energy consumption is 13.9 kWh per 100 kilometer. Top speed is 155 kilometers per hour. ORA will also offer smaller battery packs; 47.78kWh for 380 km CLTC and 49.93 for 401 km CLTC.

The tail gate opens in liftback style, giving easy access to the boot.

The interior mixes retro with modernity. The seats look very classy but the dash may seem a bit busy, with lots of different colors and materials. The twin-screen features a instrument panel and a infotainment cluster. The air vents on the far side of the dashboard are very shiny, large, and vertical.

Coolest feature of the steering wheel is the partial horn ring, which does actually operate the horn. The wheel is also very big.

The drive selector is mounted on the steering column.

Pretty retro-style switches for the air conditioning. The armrest doubles as a wireless charging pad, complete with a thick ‘crystal’ rim.

The Ballet Cat is a five-seat car and the center seats is big enough for an adult. Note the totally flat floor. The headrests are round.

A decent boot space. But it seems ORA was completely out of design inspiration here. Perhaps they all used it for the dashboard. The boot is black and boring without any bling, or anything.

Badges: left: 欧拉芭蕾猫, ORA Ballet Cat. Right: 长城汽车, Great Wall Motor.

Chromed mirrors are a nice retro touch.

Even the motor compartment looks kind of old school, with all those exposed wires and tubes and tanks.

The ORA Ballet Cat, controversial but better and cooler than the old Beetle.

Sources: Sina, Autohome.

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  1. No. This is not “cooler” than the VW Beetle. It has no history, etc. etc. It has nothing on it. It is cool in its own right… if this is what blows your hair back. But stop writing articles with titles that you obviously have no idea on the actual content. VW Beetles are Cult. This may in time have a tiny future following but it will never surpass the superiority of Volkswagen. Everyone who has come across this article online is literally laughing at it. Good effort on reporting.

    • Agreed. There was a time in history where the original Beetle was legitimately the centre of cool car culture in many parts of the world, and that helped it go on for as long as it did in the developed world, and its place in past culture was the reason the New Beetle arrived in the late 90s.
      This article is completely ridiculous, there’s no way this Ora could ever achieve that level of impact. It’s a decent enough car capitalising on a trend for the retro and personalisable and the growing EV market, but cool it is not. It’s not an original, it’s an imitator, therefore it falls at the first hurdle in that regard.

      • I have a 2012 beetle ( would love an older one from the 70’s or older ) but i love my bug. its really nice looking and its more fun to drive than a super car in my opinion.

  2. this is lame and embarrassing. why damage a brand with a silly knock-off like this? and Ora is doing this at a time when it’s expanding overseas, including into the UK.

  3. The only thing cooler than a beetle is an older beetle. Not some chintzy pretend retro vehicle from China or anywhere else.

  4. True, the original Beetle is a classic and no one can take away that claim to fame.
    But in 1975, if Volkswagen had updated their flagship in this manner, and abandoned the fossilized, air cooled engine, it might have remained on top of the foreign import list, in the U.S..
    But instead, Toyota sailed ahead rising to the top, only to be followed by Datsun (Nissan) in the following year. That moved VW downward to 3rd place, while continuing to fall fast.Even the water-cooled Rabbit could not rescue it.
    And so, the conservative wing in Wolfsberg, got their way.
    As for Great Wall, the temptation to make a good thing better could not be resisted.
    Oh and didn’t the West copy wheelbarrows? 🙂

  5. This car could not be registered in Queensland,not sure about other states.The reason being the push button door release handles,they were banned in Australia because if the vehicle rolled the doors would be flung open when the buttons were pushed.
    Other than that it sure looks like a nice car.

  6. I agree with some of the previous comments in that this car is no Beetle, never will be a replacement for the Beetle, and we definitely could do without it in the USA. Keep it in China.

  7. Ich finde dieses Auto wunderschön. Schöner und praktischer als der Ursprungskäfer, der mein erstes Auto war. Schade dass man ihn nicht in Europa kaufen kann.


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