It is quite a common practice for Chinese carmakers to take their design inspiration a bit too far to the point where the car seems to be a blatant copy of an already existing vehicle by some other carmaker. Remember Great Wall Motors‘ Electric Vehicle (EV) arm, ORA, from Auto Expo 2020? Well, GWM’s ORA has recently raised quite a few eyebrows at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show with their upcoming EVs. The carmaker has unveiled two new EVs, both of which look like knockoff models of some well known Volkswagens and Porsches. We are going to take a closer look at one of them which has an uncanny resemblance with the Volkswagen Beetle.
ORA’s interpretation of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle is, however, a four-door electric vehicle. Dubbed the ORA Punk Cat, this EV is inspired by what is arguably one of the most iconic designs in the automotive world, particularly the original Baatle from the 1960s. The overall silhouette of the car along with several design details are immediately identifiable as the Beetle, although all of that has been put together with some modern flavor. The rounded edges, flared wheel arches and the iconic sloping roofline are also reminiscent of the original Beetle. Heck, even the window line and the front and rear bumpers mimic the original design so closely.
This, however, is a four-door model and the extra length thankfully helps it break away from the iconic silhouette of the Beetle. The rear section of this vehicle also misses out on the split rear windshield which was a signature element of the Beetle of the 1960s. That said, modern touches on this ORA EV include LED headlights and tail lamps, stylish looking alloy wheels and a neat and minimalistic rear end. In fact, the tail lamps and the alloy wheels seem inspired by the Fiat Panda. Like most other Chinese cars and rip offs, this ORA EV also comes generously garnished with chrome. The dark green, black and ivory paint job really does wonders to the look of the car.
The retro design theme has been carried over to the inside as well. The interior of this ORA EV gets an old-school Beetle-inspired large round steering wheel. This, however, is a thoroughly modern interior with a large floating touchscreen infotainment system on the dashboard and a digital instrument cluster. The air-con vents, door handles and several knobs and dials also come generously garnished in a gold trim. In fact, the cabin looks quite posh with plenty of leather and soft-touch materials all over, in a mix of green, pink and ivory shades.
ORA says that the Punk Cat will cater to women and to that effect, the Punk Cat comes equipped with what ORA calls a Princess Seat. The seats will automatically level, and the infotainment system will automatically play your favorite music. There’s also a makeup mirror with a circular LED fill light. Ora still hasn’t revealed any technical specifications of the Punk Cat yet. All we know is that it is an electric vehicle. Knockoff aside, we will admit that ORA has done a pretty nice job in honoring an iconic vehicle, while also giving it a trendy makeover.