3 June 2004

Ford is considering another performance version of the Ka that would offer more power than the 94bhp provided by the 1.6-litre SportKa. The model – which could be called Ka ST – is being considered as part of Ford’s new performance car strategy, masterminded by the company’s Team RS department.

At this stage the model is no more than a consideration – a profitable business plan must be devised and, at least as challenging, a means of getting more power needs to be found.Options could include breathing on the SportKa’s eight-valve sohc 1.6-litre engine, or alternatively, fitting the 1.6-litre twin-cam 16-valve engine (formerly called Zetec), which can be tuned to yield 105bhp-plus, compared to the usual 99bhp.

However, installing the twin-cam under the Ka’s steep-sloping bonnet would be no small challenge, and there may be concern that it would overshadow the just-launched 1.6-litre 99bhp Fiesta Zetec S. Meanwhile, Ford will be closely monitoring public reaction to the Fiesta RS concept (right) at the Birmingham show. With more than half of the 4400 Focus RS cars going to Britons, the UK’s enthusiasm for this RS is critical to the project.

Team RS boss Jost Capito said Ford will decide before September whether to build the 180bhp car. If it gets the green light, it should go on sale in September 2006.

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