Ford Ka spied testing ahead of September debut
18 March 2008

These are the latest pictures of the new Ford Ka undergoing pre-production testing ahead of its planned debut at the Paris motor show in September.This replacement for the 11-year-old original is part of a co-operation between Ford and Fiat and it shares a platform with the Panda and the 500. These spy shots give us the first glimpse of the new Ka’s cabin, which reveals a Fiat-derived indicator stalk, funky looking air vents, a dash mounted gearlever and an ergonomic button layout that appears very similar to the Fiat’s. But although the shape of this Ka mule bares a strong resemblance to the fashionable 500, John Fleming, president of Ford Europe, has stated that the new Ka won’t share any visible parts with Fiat’s cute urban runabout. Ford’s engineers are also likely to heavily rework the Fiat chassis in an effort to maintain the old Ka’s reputation for fine handling. It had been predicted that Fiat would build the Ka for Ford alongside the 500 in Poland. However, the Polish factory’s production lines are now believed to be at full capacity.Interestingly, Ford has recently bought the old Daewoo factory in Romania and is expected to invest an estimated £450 million in the plant. It could be that the 120,000 new Kas Ford intends to sell per year will be built here.

Will Powell

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Comments
6

18 March 2008

The layout of the dash looks like the Fiat. Hope the outside styling doesn´t resemble the Fiat.

18 March 2008

The article mentions a Dacia plant in Romania; actually, it's an old Daewoo plant near the city of Craiova, Romania, where they used to build Matiz, Nexia and Nubira models.

18 March 2008

I hope Ford don't miss another opportunity with the Ka. They never gave it a decent engine nor knew which market they were after...cheap runabout or swish urban accessory in BMW Mini mode. It would be great if they gave it a modern engine, high quality plastics and interior trim...a truly classless modern small car with a premium feel..not the pastiche things that the 500 and Mini are.

19 March 2008

the MINI is a pastiche thing? what planet are you on?

19 March 2008

[quote Austinruby7]

...a truly classless modern small car with a premium feel..[/quote]

I'm not sure how you square the two. As soon as you mention 'premium feel' you imply 'premium price'. For a car to be classless, surely it has to be honest and cheap? That's where FIAT have been clever; between the Panda and the 500 they have covered both sides of the coin. I guess Ford have to decide one way or the other.

20 March 2008

The current Ka was never intended to be a premium city car, fashion accessory or a rival to a car that was launched 5yrs later (i.e. Mini - which incidentally is the next size up).

It was intended as an everyday city car to fit below the Fiesta, and also intended to be a cheap city car - hence the low-tech engines, previous Fiesta platform, basic equipment and some exposed metal work inside. As for the interior quality, they were class-leading when the car was launched 12yrs ago but Ford has obviously chosen not to give it the same quality interior as the rest of its range.

If the car has been bought as an urban accessory, then that is purely coincidental because its styling is still cutting-edge. And the Ka is still has the finest chassis in its class after all these years.

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