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.
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.
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.