GWM Ora 03 to spawn SUV as brand's third model

Chinese company GMW will launch an Ora SUV to expand its line-up to three as it pushes for a stronger footing in Europe.

This EV, which will take a numerical name, like its Ora 03 hatchback and Ora 07 saloon siblings, will be larger than a crossover but smaller than a “full-blooded SUV”, GMW chief designer Andrew Dyson told Autocar.

“An SUV is what is missing from the line-up now; it makes it a no-brainer,” said Dyson, confirming prototypes were already in the studio. “It’s something that complements the other cars in the line-up.”

This car would be targeted at the UK and European markets, Dyson suggested, using the quirky Ora design philosophy to bore a niche in what has become one of the most oversaturated segments in the market.

Key to this is the opening of two new design houses in Munich and Turin, which will work through concept stages to add more European appeal to these Chinese models.

“One of the big challenges is: how do you make an SUV look different to the competition? Luckily Ora already has an advantage there,” said Dyson.

The Brit confirmed the new model will likely take the form of a raised Ora 03, with a similar egg-shaped silhouette, rounded headlights and minimalistic rear.

Given that its siblings both use GMW’s Lemon platform, it would make sense that the SUV did the same.

The powertrain would likely be borrowed from the upcoming 07, meaning either a 64kWh lithium-iron-phosphate or 83kWh nickel-manganese-cobalt battery and offering a maximum range of 354 miles.

As with the 07, which will be launched in the UK this summer, a four-wheel-drive GT variant would likely top the line-up, matching its 402bhp, 501lb ft and 4.5sec 0-62mph time.

GWM launched the Ora brand in Europe two years ago with the 03 (then called the Ora Funky Cat) but last year sold just 9000 cars in the region. 

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