The Ford Ka city car has been reformatted as a budget-priced, Fiesta-size five-door hatchback, badged Ka+. It arrives in the UK in October, priced from £8,995.
The Ka+ has been in production in India – where it’s badged Figo – since last year. It’s also sold in South America. Ford is at pains to point out the running gear has been completely redeveloped to suit European tastes. The steering, springs, dampers, front anti-roll bar, rear torsion beam and tyres have all been changed; even the front subframe has been re-engineered. And there are extra noise-suppression measures.
Power comes from a 1.2-litre petrol engine in either 69bhp or 84bhp outputs – both returning 56.5mpg and 114g/km of Co2 – hooked up to a five-speed manual gearbox. Ford claims performance is “smooth and responsive,” but don’t expect any drag strip fireworks.
The Ka+ is based on the same platform as the Fiesta and shares its wheelbase. It’s marginally shorter but taller than the Fiesta; Ford claims best-in-class front headroom and rear legroom. The boot’s a reasonable size, too, at 270 lires.
Style and Zetec models will be available. Both get six airbags, stability control, speed limiter, electric front windows and door mirrors and Bluetooth. The Zetec is expected to be the best-seller and adds 15in alloys, DAB radio and SYNC infotainment.
The original Ka of 1996 was something of a revolution in the city car class with its funky styling, big-car refinement and go-kart handling, selling in vast numbers. The second generation was based on the Fiat 500, loosing both that car’s charm and its predecessors fizz. Both were marketed as premium products, but the new Ka+ is openly targeted at budget-conscious rivals like the Kia Rio and Dacia Sandero. It’ll be interesting to see how the market responds.
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By Only Motors