We have an idea what names will be used on two upcoming Great Wall Motors products in Australia.
Great Wall Motors has trademarked the names Haval Dargo and Ora Good Cat with IP Australia.
The former is the export name for the tough-looking Haval Big Dog crossover, while the latter is the Chinese-market name for the electric hatchback.
While GWM has chosen a more ‘Western’ name for the Haval, it appears to be sticking with the quaint Ora model name despite plans to sell it as the Cat 01 in Europe.
No other Ora model names appear in the IP Australia database thus far.
CarExpert understands the Ora Good Cat will be launched in the third quarter of 2022 and the Haval Dargo in the fourth quarter.
GWM says Dargo, the export name it revealed at last December’s Jeddah motor show in Saudi Arabia, is short for “Dare to go” – we presume the quiet Victorian town of fewer than 100 people isn’t the namesake.
We also expect Haval’s cutesy model lineup names won’t carry over – the Chinese-market Big Dog is available in trim levels like Husky and Labrador. Aww.
While the Dargo wears bluff styling, it uses the unibody architecture underpinning the likes of the Haval H6. Think of the Dargo and H6 as being Haval’s counterparts to the Ford Bronco Sport and Escape.
There’s a choice of turbocharged 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines, both mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The larger engine comes with a Borg-Warner Haldex all-wheel drive system with an all-terrain mode and an off-road creep mode.
It measures 4620mm long, 1890mm wide and 1780mm tall on a 2738mm wheelbase – that’s 33mm shorter, 4mm wider, and 56mm taller than the H6, on an identical wheelbase and also featuring multi-link rear suspension.
There’s also 200mm of ground clearance, compared with 170mm for the H6.
Inside, there’s a choice of 10.25-inch and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment systems plus a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.
The company confirmed last year it had brought a left-hand drive example of the Haval SUV to Australia for testing and promotional purposes. It was joined on the voyage by the tougher, body-on-frame 300 from GWM’s new Tank brand.
The Ora Cat is a different animal entirely.
The electric hatch measures 4235mm long on a 2650mm wheelbase, about bang-on the same dimensions as a Volkswagen Golf Mk8, and weighs a fairly light 1555kg.
It also sits on a bespoke electric-only architecture and uses MacPherson strut/torsion beam suspension.
The domestic market car’s spec sheet shows numerous liquid-cooled lithium iron phosphate and ternary lithium batteries, with energy content between 48kWh and 59kWh and (generous) NEDC driving ranges of between 401km and 501km (WLTP figures are generally lower).
Chinese market pricing, after subsidies, ranges from 103,900 yuan ($A21,400) to 160,900 yuan ($A33,400).
The front motor in the base cars outputs 105kW and 210Nm, bumped up to 126kW and 250Nm in higher-end versions which cuts the claimed 0-100km/h time to 6.9 seconds.
It’s loaded with tech, too. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a Mobileye ADAS system, and runs the set of expected driver-assist features such as lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring.
There are large 17.25-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment, supported by over-the-air updates.
The Ora brand was established in 2018, as one of a bewildering spread of Great Wall Motor sub brands: GWM Utes, Haval SUVs, Wey premium crossovers (named for owner and chairman Jack Wey), Tank luxury 4x4s, and Ora EVs.
The Chinese automaker is expecting to see significant growth in 2022, and is expected to launch products from both the Ora and Tank brands.
It said earlier last year it was projecting 18,000 sales in 2021, growth of 240 per cent. It beat that target by 384 units.
The latest trademarks follow a rash of filings during 2021, with GWM submitting filings to protect the designs of models like the Tank 500 and 700 SUVs, GWM X Cannon ute, and the Ora Good Cat, Punk Cat, Lightning Cat and Cherry Cat EVs.
Another design filing was for a retro-inspired sedan which unusually wears the Haval nameplate, a brand name only used for SUVs.