Expected to appeal to the young city commuters
7 May, 2018, 10:49 am
Chinese giant, Great Wall Motors, has introduced a fourth brand to its portfolio with the launch of ORA, its new brand for electric vehicles. Standing for Open Reliable Alternative, ORA is being introduced initially in the Chinese market, with the first of its battery electric vehicles set to hit the road by the end of this year (2018).
ORA’s line-up comprises two model ranges, the R Series and the iQ series, each range promising a high degree of connectivity and level 3 autonomy from launch.
The R Series will be introduced with two compact vehicles, the R1 and R2.
The R1 is a micro vehicle ready to slot in to China’s rapacious vehicle market, where tiny trikes and electric bikes are popular options for navigating megacities like Beijing. The R2 is a larger four-seat vehicle with the four wheels pushed out to the corners to maximise its wheelbase and present a larger cabin space.
Compact R Series vehicles are expected to appeal to young city commuters while the iQ is a larger crossover vehicle, offering greater flexibility for family buyers.
The R1 and R2 were unveiled at Auto China and presented by Keisuke Torikai, Great Wall Motors Chief Design Director, who said the cars had been “designed with simplicity at the core”.
The effect of simplifying the exterior design of both the R1 and the R2 means each car has a modern, minimalist look which Keisuke Torikai says is both fun and functional and will appeal to young buyers.
Product Planning vice-president, Sam Chen, said that while the ORA was initially intended for China, Great Wall Motors would consider introducing the vehicles for export markets. Great Wall Vice President of Product Planning – Sam Chen
“We will consider global market applications. The question remains, do we leave it as ORA brand when we take it out overseas, or do we put it in a brand that makes the most sense? That’s still something that we’re actually considering right now,” Chen told motoring.com.au.
With a nod to the autonomous future of electric cars, the glass in the wing mirrors of the R2 has been replaced with blind spot monitoring indicators although it is not clear whether this concept car style feature will make it through to production vehicles.
Other connectivity features on ORA vehicles include an advanced human machine interface system and a phone enabled car key which will enable vehicle sharing with friends.
China is a strong proponent for the adoption of electric vehicle technology and has mandated for zero emission electric vehicles to make up 10 per cent of new car sales as early as 2019, rising to 12 per cent by 2020.