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Let’s be honest; China is known for its copies of popular cars and SUVs. Look at all of the Jeep look-alikes running around Beijing. But this one is really too much. But China has covered all of the bases and even gotten a patent for it in Europe. So here it is; the Ora Ballet Cat.

The manufacturer claims that the Ballet Cat is not the same as its Punk Cat

Chinese VW Beetle rip-off
Chinese “Ballet Cat” VW Beetle rip-off | Ora

If a design or trademark in the US would cause confusion with the public the US Patent and Trademark Office won’t allow you to either patent or trademark the offending item. Not so in China. And if you think you’ve seen this from China before, you are right, but also wrong.

This is actually the second Beetle rip-off. The first one, which you would be excused for thinking  this was that one, is called the “Punk Cat.” It is also manufactured by Ora. So this is a rip off of a rip-off of a VW Beetle. Seriously!

Both the Ballet and Punk Cat are so similar we almost can’t tell the difference

Chinese VW Beetle rip-off Punk Cat
Chinese VW Beetle rip-off Ora Punk Cat for comparison | Ora

The Ballet Cat will make its public debut in two weeks at the Chengdu Auto Show. It is so similar to the Punk Cat we had to stare at it for a while to see the differences. And, there aren’t many.

It looks like the taillights are different. And there is a spoiler on the Ballet Cat that the Punk Cat doesn’t have. The biggest difference, besides the lack of a two-tone paint job, is the trim. It looks like the Ballet Cat has tried to get a bit closer to the original Beetle. 

Rather than a new model, the Ballet Cat looks like a different trim model

Chinese VW Beetle rip-off rear 3/4 view
Chinese VW Beetle rip-off Ora Ballet Cat | Ora

The door handles on the Ballet Cat are more retro, as are the wheels. They feature flat Beetle-like hubcaps. Beyond these distinctions, we’re mystified how this is any different than the Punk Cat. Why this falls in the category of a new design and not a differently trimmed model is beyond us. 

In case you forgot some of the specs of the Punk Cat, we’ll refresh your memory. After all, they will likely be the same. Two batteries will be offered; a 47.8 kWh electric motor, and a 59.1 kWh motor. We expect that either motor will spin the rear wheels, like the original Beetle, but who knows?

So far Volkswagen has done nothing to interfere with Ora producing these copies

Chinese VW Beetle rip-off Punk Cat advertising
Chinese VW Beetle rip-off Ora Punk Cat advertising | Ora

VW has been aware of the Ora rip-offs and said it was looking into the matter. But the patents in Europe slid by without a peep from VW. Maybe that is why the Ballet Cat looks like it was striving to be more similar to the original Beetle than the Punk Cat. 

If either the Ballet or Punk Cat were available, and you’re an avid Beetle fan, would you buy one? Or would you pass because you perceive this to be a rip-off, which it is? 


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