At least it'll be quieter.
Late last year, Chinese auto brand Great Wall Motors (GWM) made headlines for all the wrong reasons when its Steed 5 pickup showed itself to be ill-prepared for the task of protecting occupants in a crash - it returned truly catastrophic crashworthiness results. But GWM would rather have us all forget this bleak piece of news and focus instead on a cheerful new retro hatchback it plans to unveil in full at this year's Shanghai Motor Show. For now, the hatch is nameless but there's no mistaking which classic Volkswagen it draws inspiration from. That rounded rear-end could only be compared to the original VW Beetle.
Except, rather than a raucous gas-powered, rear-engined hatchback, this hatchback is an EV and will fall under GWM's sub-brand, Ora. Retro-inspired EVs have grown in prominence over the last year or two; there's something intriguing about retro design concealing an advanced electric powertrain. Hyundai's stunning Pony EV Restomod springs to mind. Back to Ora's hatchback, though. According to CarNewsChina, this is actually a production vehicle and not just a fun concept. Ora is said to have begun an online poll to help them come up with a name for the hatch. With its rounded silhouette, chrome detailing, and those egg-shaped taillights, it's hard not to be hit with a sense of nostalgia when assessing this Ora's design.
The round theme continues with the wing mirrors. Another image of the cabin showed that the retro theme continues here. While there does appear to be some kind of infotainment interface on the dash, the rest of it is characterized by a steering wheel with an old-school thin rim and rounded air vents. It definitely doesn't look like the cabin of a typical 2021 hatchback. While some people have already imagined what an actual electric Beetle would look like based on the most recent Beetle to be sold, Ora seems to find the original much more appealing. We look forward to seeing this unusual vehicle in more detail soon.