The car in the photo may look like an old Volkswagen Beetle, albeit with four doors. But don’t be fooled; it’s not a Beetle. It's not even made by Volkswagen.
Chinese automaker ORA is building what looks like a copy of the classic Beetle design. This is the same ORA sub-brand by Great Wall that produced the Good Cat EV which also looked like another German model.
For now, there’s no official name for ORA’s Beetle “inspired” EV, and the automaker has only revealed a few teaser photos. According to CarNewsChina, the automaker is doing an online poll for its official name. Given the car’s design, the name ‘Beetle’ would be perfect, don’t you think?
The exterior looks like a stretched, four-door version of the original Beetle. There are rounded mirrors and even chrome trim on the wheel arches for proper retro styling. Upfront, there are round headlights and an extended chrome bumper. At the rear, there are small circular taillights, just as what you would find in the classic VW. A pair of chrome strips run down from the roof to the bumper.
At the moment, the EV’s rear window is still blacked out, meaning it’s uncertain whether it will have a one-piece unit similar to the later Beetles,or have a split-window design like the earlier models. We bet it’s going to be the former to meet modern regulations though a split rear window would be a cool feature.
Inside, the cabin is going to be as retro as the exterior. There’s a large steering wheel with lots of chrome. Despite the retro design, there are a few creature comforts, including air-conditioning, power windows, and a large infotainment system in the center.
There are no details about the powertrain yet, but it could be similar to the one used in the Good Cat. For reference, the hatchback’s total output is rated at 145 PS and 210 Nm torque with a claimed range of 500km.
More information about the ORA’s retro Beetle-inspired EV will be revealed when it officially debuts at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show. We bet Volkswagen AG's lawyers will have a lot to say about this model unless they licensed the design if it still requires licensing after all these decades.