Modern take on Volkswagen’s Beetle offers ‘Lady Driving Mode’ and other questionable features that have created a stir on social media.
An electric car offered by an emerging car company that claims to ”love women more” has been derided as “blatantly sexist”, “patronising” and “misogynistic”.
Great Wall Motors’ Ora Ballet Cat is a battery-powered machine inspired by the classic Volkswagen Beetle. The car is powered by a 127kW/250Nm electric motor linked to a choice of batteries delivering up to 500 kilometres of range.
Ora took an interesting approach to the new model by developing a “Punk Cat” for men, and the “Ballet Cat” for women. The latter is finished in soft pastel hues that complement its retro styling.
It also has enormous vanity mirrors with LED ring lighting that, according to the brand, is “specially designed for oriental women”.
Other features include a selfie camera, a “Lady Driving Mode” that keeps a greater distance to the car in front, a voice-activated automatic parking system, and ergonomics shaped around smaller female frames.
Reddit users reacting to the new model suggested it combined “the most patronising shit ever” with a “misogynistic” approach laden with “gimmicky gendered bullshit”.
Car Scoops, a popular automotive website, said that “nothing we can think of is as blatantly sexist as the Ora Ballet Cat”.
That view was shaped by the inclusion of a “Warm Man Mode” designed to comfort drivers suffering from menstrual discomfort.
Car News China translated an official description of the feature, one that has since been removed from Ora’s website.
“Ora explains the reasoning behind this: when menstruating, one can feel cold and therefore panic. So what does Warm Man Mode do? It turns up the heating and the airconditioning with one-click, ‘to warm the body and mind’.”
Don’t expect the system to feature in Australia.
But there is a chance GWM’s Ora marque could make it to Australia, with the brand previously declaring an interest in the smaller, Mini-like “Good Cat” electric car.