Chinese car brand ORA, which is owned by Great Wall Motors, turned more than a few heads at the Shanghai Auto Show back in April when it pulled the covers off a new Beetle-inspired hatchback called the Punk Cat. But not only is the carmaker forging ahead with a design that many consider to be a shameless copy of the original Volkswagen Beetle (albeit now with five doors), but the company has reportedly also patented the design in Europe.
According to Carscoops, Great Wall has patented two Beetle-like designs not only in China, but in the European Union too. The one design closely resembles the aforementioned Punk Cat and the other is fairly similar but with a smoother shape and different headlights and taillights.
But will Volkswagen be taking any legal action? Back in April Volkswagen implied that it was investigating the matter, Carscoops reported, and one can’t help but wonder if this new patent application (and the implied intention to sell the Punk Cat in Europe) will prove to be the final straw for Volkswagen.
To our knowledge, Ora hasn’t released any technical specifications for the Punk Cat as yet, however, CarExpert reports that the newcomer is likely to be powered by a front-mounted electric motor that produces around 106 kW, and offer a range of between 400 km and 500 km, depending on the battery option chosen.
Judging by the Shanghai show car, the Punk Cat certainly has a snazzy cabin, filled with soft-touch and sparkly surfaces, including gold and crystal inspired trim pieces and turbine air vents. The cabin design is a more lavish interpretation of the original Beetle’s cockpit, but it does appear to meet all modern needs with a wide LCD touchscreen taking pride of place in the centre of the dashboard.
According to Chinese media the production version of the Punk Cat will be launched in China towards the end of this year. And it certainly seems like Great Wall wants to sell it in Europe too – or will Wolfsburg put a stop to it?