New Ka keeps the Ford family face
1 August 2008

These are the first official pictures of the next Ford Ka, which will be launched at the Paris motor show in October.

The fresh-faced, all-new Ka shares its platform with the Fiat 500 but its looks are an interpretation of Ford’s ‘kinetic’ design language. It replaces the huge-selling original model after an incredible 12 years on the market.

A strong styling relationship between the finished new Ka, the Mondeo, the latest Focus and in particular the recently unveiled new Fiesta is clear to see. Ford’s designers have attempted to make the new Ka’s ‘face’ more distinctive, and have given it beefier, chunkier proportions than its more rounded predecessor.

>> See more pics of the Ford Ka

The trapezoidal front grille is now a typical Ford family trait, as is the redesigned, more prominent Ka badge. But the team behind the Ka say they’ve also attempted to capture the original model’s ‘youthful and cheeky spirit’ with a number of visual references, particularly the shape and lines of the windows.

A stylish, plusher, more colourful cabin will be one of the Ka’s key attractions. Ford reckons the typical Ka buyer has more adventurous tastes than most, so its interior design team have focused on bringing bold design and expressive colours to the cabin.

Naturally there’s an emphasis on younger customers with this model and they can expect iPod connectivity across the range plus Bluetooth hands-free as an option. But there’s also a focus on driver satisfaction and to that end the Ka gets a dash-mounted gear leaver and noticeably more ergonomic switchgear.

Engines and specification details will be finalised closer to the Ka’s launch, but there will be crossover with Fiat’s powerplants. So expect a 69bhp, 1.2-litre petrol engine along with the more powerful 99bhp 1.4-litre from the Cinquecento. Fiat’s super-frugal 1.3-litre Multijet diesel is likely to make it to the Ka too - the first time a diesel version’s ever been offered.

Our Verdict

Ford Ka
The Ford Ka lacks the sparkle of the original model

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Fiat and Ford are also thought to be considering using an extremely fuel-efficient 900cc, 2-cylinder turbo motor that would offer class-beating, sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and 60-plus mpg fuel economy.

The new Ka will be built alongside its Fiat counterpart at Fiat’s factory in Poland. This production line and platform sharing helps both companies cut manufacturing costs and therefore offer their respective city cars at a lower price.

While Fiat’s opted for image-driven, premium price market positioning for its 500, Ford has already said that it won’t follow suit with the Ka. A starting price of around £7500 is expected when this funky little urban cruiser arrives in showrooms early in 2009.

Will Powell

Join the debate


1 August 2008

The inerior just screams Fiat at me. The exterior seems fine, although I don´t like the color of the first pics.

1 August 2008

Part of the charm of the original KA for me and I guess a lot of other people because of the still reasonable sales figures was its simple mechanicals, fun handling and general lack of pretension.

I don't doubt Ford have engineered the "fun" in to the car, but the rest of the formula seems to have gone.

It will be a sales success, but will it have the enduring charm of the original. I think not.



It's all about the twisties........

1 August 2008

As a designer who has worked on several cars during my time I always thought Ford had the best designers. They get paid a lot. I was looking forward to seeing how they advance the styling of the Ka.

Basically they couldnt. They didn't have the talent, the experience or the work ethic. They have utterly failed in my opinion. I hope they regard themselves personally responsible for this. Every person that took part in the development of this vehicle in UK and Germany can consider themselves of having failed.

There is no design here. The 'kinetic' design language is a fraud. Its not Fords language at all. Almost all of companies are making thier more formal design language more free flowing and dynamic. Basically they are forcing dynamism into undynamic proportions and volumes. Look at the headlamps, its as if they being peeled back by the wind.

One look at the Fiesta, Mondeo and now this creates no emotion. Its not a multi-layered design ie, it only looks new ( not advanced, just new). It doesnt inspire any thought. Looking at an Alfa or BMW one thinks of italian zesty driving experience, at BMW its all about the long bonnet proportions, German efficiency and the racing pedigree or a. ALl the brands that are desirable and have good marketing/design relationships are building on feelings emotions.

Ford has more history that almost any other car company, lotts of motor racing success and many inovations. Other companies would have built up on this,In Europe. Fords brand is only slightly above the Koreans. Whereas VW's isnt. Vauxhall is a no emotion ,identity brand. The Ka was interesting to become a Smart, MINI like sub brand. Ford chose to kill it off and replace it with this , a small fiesta.

I like the Ford driving experience, I drive a Focus ST. With its 5 cylinder engine and unusual paint colour it has at least some personality beyond the standard Focus, though if I didnt get a 20% discount I would have looked elsewhere.

Compare the Fiat 500(medeocre styling) to the KA. I know which I would rather have..

Enough of my rant. I am dissapointed with this, the new Ka

1 August 2008

Very surprised about the criticisms this design is receiving. Not having been a fan of the way the original Ka looked (although loving the drive) I think the new car looks terrific.

1 August 2008

[quote JBOWEN]Ford chose to kill it off and replace it with this , a small fiesta.

Agree 100%, small fiesta pretty much sums up this cars looks.

Also, did anyone else think "Corsa 3-door" when they first saw it? Window line, front and back lights, Its even got the VXRs paint and all!

1 August 2008

The old Ka always hit the mark on style (though it was a bit like the old twingo in the fact that it was in a take it or leave it sort of way) the Ka was also fun to drive, despite it having the worst engines.

With the new one it looks like Ford gave in and have decided to sell a rebranded Panda through their dealers, nothing wrong with that really, though it is a bit bland, at least if you part-ex a Panda you should know where all the controls (pity for the old Ka owner)

Seems the new Ka has much in common with the old one as a Peugeot 107 has with a 106.

1 August 2008

When the previous Ka came out, it was SO different - even more different than the first Focus was when that came out. This, however cutesy it may be, just looks like another City Car, with not one original feature. The old Ka's bumpers were original. The old Ka's lights were original. This new Ka just has some shrunken Fiesta lights stuck on the front. And the colour of the interior resembles the colours on offer in the Kia Pride or something, back in the 90s. The shapes all seem okay, but it looks a lot more 'Sit up and beg' than the previous model. It isn't as inviting, nor as much fun to look at. The interior isn't as individual, either. This will have to be a very, very good deal cheaper than the Fiat 500 if anyone is to buy it. It's such a shame, as the previous Ka was such a design classic. This however, looks like 'another' city car. Shame. But it's not terrible.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

1 August 2008

Its a shame that there are some negative comments on this new Ford KA even if most people have not seen this car in the flesh, Ok fair enough, to me it's very nice car and I got to admit the Kinetic Design on the Ka does look rather blunt rather than sharp but it is a press photo and press photo does not do it justice, none the less I'll reserve my judgement till I see this car in the flesh. As for people pointing out (well also in the Vicky Parott column on the Ka) that the car is known as a "lovechild of a new Fiesta and a Vauxhall Corsa" well you should know this already but I'll point it out again with just two words: MARTIN SMITH!!

1 August 2008

Please dont tell me I have to look at this monstrosity for the next 11 or so years!

I know styling is subjective, but GOD the back looks awful!

Nice interior though!

2 August 2008

Seems like a step backwards from the old Ka....

I'll have a 500 please.


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