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Ford Ka (2015) first official pictures

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800

By Ollie Kew

First Official Pictures

20 November 2013 16:00

This is the new Ford Ka, which Ford has slapped with a last-minute ‘concept’ tag. The reason it looks like the finished product is because underneath, the Ka shares components with the Brazilian market Figo, of which Ford has sold 100,000 in 2011. With production-ready giveaways bits like wipers and mirrors present and correct, it’s difficult to see anything changing before the new Ka goes on sale.

The new Ka will be marketed worldwide under the global ‘One Ford’ strategy, but sales are being concentrated on emerging markets – South America and Asia are the important markets. The Ka concept itself was unveiled at the 2013 Brazil motor show, underlining South American’s. However, UK and European sales are assured in the long-term future, CAR can report.

Unlike the first two generations of the baby Ford, the new car will be a five-door door only. Like the Renault Clio and Hyundai i10, Ford is moving away from a three-door bodystyles in favour of more versatile platforms.

The cutesy bubble-roofed design is gone too: in comes homogenised styling inspired by the new Fiesta and S-Max, with taut body lines, a trapezoidal front grille, and swept-back headlights. All very neat, no more enticing than an MG 3…

Under the skin, the Ford Ka no longer shares a platform with the Fiat 500. That’s good news for anyone who’s driven the numb, less chuckable second-gen car, plus it’ll use Ford’s suite of Ecoboost turbo engines too.

Inside, Ford’s also ramped up the Ka’s kit count, trying to appeal to our desire for technical whizzbangery at little-car prices. So, there’s a docking station for smartphones, Ford’s ‘Sync’ smartphone-control interface, and what Ford somewhat ambiguously calls ‘best-in-class air conditioning’.

Also claimed to be best-in-class is the five-seater cabin’s spaciousness, and the Ka’s fuel economy –the brand’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine in 79bhp guise will form the range staple. Time to lobby Ford to slot in the 123bhp version, and give us a new SportKa…

Not yet, but UK sales are assured for late 2015. The new Ford Ka will cost around £8 – £12,000. A basic five-door Fiesta is 12,295.

However, with budget alternatives like the Dacia and MG offering top-spec models for less than five figures, and grown-up city cars like the Hyundai i10 and VW Up piling on the pressure, the new Ka could struggle to make an impact.

That’s why Ford is concentrating on booming Brazilian and south-Asia sales, where the Blue Oval estimates demand for dinky city cars will leap by 35% to 6.2m vehicles by 2017.

By Ollie Kew