This article was published on April 20, 2021

Ora’s copycat electric Beetle has a truly wild interior

It's called the Punk Cat, not the copycat!

Ora’s copycat electric Beetle has a truly wild interior
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Cast your mind back to last week, when images of a new electric car that looked totally like a Beetle surfaced from China.

Well, that car has been officially unveiled at Auto Shanghai, and it’s great. It’s a four-door electric hatchback from Chinese EV brand Ora. It has a name now too: it’s called the Punk Cat. Maybe they should have called it the Copy Cat — oh meow!

The name was chosen following an internet consultation. Other options included Elf Cat, Noble Cat, Royal Cat, Big Orange Cat, and Persian Cat. Yeah, if you didn’t realize, Ora likes naming its cars as different types of cat. It also makes the Lightning Cat and the Good Cat.

ev, ora, great wall motors
Credit: Ora
The Ora Punk Cat is a throwback to the classic VW Beetle, but it’s not a Beetle. It’s from China.

Ok, so this thing looks exactly like a classic 1960s VW Beetle. But that’s no bad thing! I said that last week when images first surfaced, and I’ll say it again. The fact this looks like a classic Beetle is no bad thing.

Sure, the likeness is undeniably brazen, but the product that Ora has come up with is just stunning.

The original Beetle was just three doors, the Punk Cat on the other hand is a slightly longer four-door take on the format, making it a tad more practical.

ev, ora, punk, cat
Credit: Ora
The Ora Punk Cat sticks up its middle paw to convention and plays by its own design rule book… which must have been the same rule book that VW used 50 years ago.

But the best bit of all is the car’s interior. Seriously, get a load of it:

ev, ora, interior, cat, punk cat
Credit: Ora
I have never seen a car interior quite like this before. It’s stunning, it’s flashy, but still elegant.

The interior of the Punk Cat is decidedly not punk. It’s over the top, lavish, and flashy. It blends modern features like steering wheel-mounted controls, and a massive navigation screen, with classic glossy gold details, and two-tone upholstery.

It’s 100% not my style, but I love it all the same. It’s wild and different, we need more of this in the car world.

When everything goes electric, most cars will accelerate and sound largely the same, so we need to look at these kinds of details to bring out our vehicles’ personalities.

And would you look at that: I’ve gone through this whole article without mentioning anything about batteries, motors, or range. When a car looks this good, I just don’t care.

Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

Then you need the weekly SHIFT newsletter in your life. Click here to sign up.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with