The original Ford Ka introduced Ford’s New Edge design theme; this second generation follows Ford’s current Kinetic Design ideology. The front grille aperture and long, squinting headlights are intended to give the new Ka a manga-like personality, apparently.
The high-reaching door mirror mount cuts into front three-quarter visibility, even though the A-pillars themselves aren’t especially broad.
There was an 11th-hour design change at the Tychy factory in Poland to keep the line of rear wing and door fluent at its upper edge. The shape and positioning of the tailgate handle references that of the original Ka.
The fuel filler gives away the Ka’s Fiat origins. Other Ford products have the cap incorporated into the flap, while the Ka has a traditional cap that requires the key to release.
The Ka, in fact, began life as a Fiat Panda, as did the 500 itself, and the joint venture began in only 2005 when Fiat and Ford signed up to create two cars – 500 and Ka – from the Panda’s existing platform.
Fiat provided the basic bodyshell for the project plus the engines, gearboxes, chassis and suspension systems. Ford then retuned and restyled the car in its detail to create the new Ka. So while the Ka’s 1.2-litre, single-cam petrol engine may appear identical to the Fiat 500’s on paper, developing a similar 67bhp and 75lb ft, in reality it feels quite different in the Ford.
But the biggest difference by far is the rear suspension, where Ford has fitted a 30 percent stiffer anti-roll bar and changed almost everything that moves to give the Ka the right kind of dynamic personality, even though it still shares the 500’s basic geometry of MacPherson struts and coil springs at the front with a torsion beam (plus that new anti-roll bar) at the back.
The 2016, Ford Ka+ has left the quirkiness that the original Ka and this second generation attempted to carry on behind, with the true intention of this new five-door supermini aiming for practicality, simplicity and affordablity over the trying to muscle the Volkswagen Up and Hyundai i10 out of the way.