GWM Ora 03 electric hatch goes on sale in SA
The funky-styled Chinese EV is available in a range of four models
Tempting South Africans away from conventional power trains hasn’t been an easy job, but it’s one the Chinese brand GWM wants to take on with its latest offering.
Meet the new GWM Ora 03, a funky-styled electric hatch that looks like a mash-up of two automotive legends, the VW Beetle and Mini Cooper. It doesn’t really cut it as a car for the mainstream market, mainly because it’s expensive, chic and left-field.
Prices start at R686,950 for the entry-level 300 Super Luxury all the way to the 400 GT Ultra luxury model which you’ll need R835,950 to buy it. The new range is competitively priced against other chic four-door, mid-to-high tier Mini Cooper variants and a few other fashionista crossovers such as the Toyota CH-R, Volvo CX-30 and the Chinese BYD Atto 3 — the latter the first fully electric Chinese car to be sold in SA.
The entire Ora 03 range is powered by a 126kW and 250Nm electric power train. The entry level Ora 300 model gets by with a 48kWh battery claimed to return a driving range of 310km. The trio of 400 models benefit from a larger 63kWh battery said to offer 410km of driving range. Charging from 0-80% is in 50 minutes, and the company will also sell you a home charging wallbox if you want one.
I drove the 300 model from Kyalami to Haartbeestpoort at the media launch earlier this week, and the drive showcased the car’s comfortable ride quality, and when operated with an econo-minded style it returns acceptable range.
Looks wise, the 400 GT Ultra Luxury is the closest thing we have to an electric hot hatch with a body kit, larger boot spoiler, sporty-styled 18-inch alloy wheels and licks of red on the bumpers and brake covers.
It has a claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds and the car showed a keenness around the Kyalami circuit, with polished suspension that gave it poise through the twisty sections. The caboodle of safety systems on hand — including traction control and auto emergency braking — contributed to keeping the car planted.
The interior of the 4,235mm long car is a minimalist and digital haven, with high-quality dual-tone pseudo-leather on the seats and chrome touch points. Wireless mobile device connectivity and charging, a panoramic roof are some of the possible niceties.
Space for passengers is generous front and back and the boot should swallow typical family-sized luggage with ease. Personalisation options are high with our 300 model tester boasting a red dashboard, with the same hue applied to parts of the steering wheel.
All new GWM Ora 03 models come with a seven-year/200,000km warranty for the car and an eight-year/105,000km battery warranty. A seven-year/105,000km service plan is included while service intervals are 15,000km/12 months.
Ora 03 300 Super Luxury — R686,950
Ora 03 400 Super Luxury — R775,950
Ora 03 400 Ultra Luxury — R805,950
Ora 03 400 GT Ultra Luxury — R835,950
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