The new Ford Ka has been spotted on the road near Ford’s engineering centre in Cologne, Germany. Rumours had been circulating that the Ka was being axed from the line-up but that's clearly not the case, although it will take a fresh approach.
Rather than a fashion-focused three-door like the first two versions, the next Ford Ka will be five-door only and promises to focus on value for money and space.
Unlike the existing model, which shares its platform with the Fiat 500, the new Ka will be sold globally. It will also be based on the Figo – a budget hatch sold in developing countries that shares its underpinnings with the previous-generation Fiesta.
An inside source told us: “One Ford [the company’s global product strategy] gives us a chance to draw on what’s going on around the world – and for our next city car we won’t be reinventing the wheel.”
In order to justify its place in the Ford line-up, and take on the likes of the VW up!, the new Ka will need to be lighter and more fuel-efficient than the Fiesta. Speaking exclusively to
Auto Express, Andrew Fraser, Ford’s head of petrol engine development, explained: “The old Fiesta platform will need remodelling. By shortening it and using thinner-gauge steels where possible, we should be able to make it much lighter.”
As you can see from the spy shots (right), the bodywork has been redesigned, so as not to resemble the bug-eyed Figo (below left), or the old Fiesta. Our spy photographer also spotted a new Fiesta following this test prototype, and it appeared much larger than the disguised Ka.
In terms of engines, a diesel model is unlikely, to keep costs down and give the car global appeal. So the most obvious candidate is Ford’s new three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine, which even in non-turbocharged form can produce up to 79bhp. A two-cylinder petrol engine has already been ruled out.
“We thought about using Fiat’s TwinAir engine,” Fraser told us, “but we were already deep into development with the EcoBoost.” The new car is scheduled to debut in around eight months, which points to a reveal at the Geneva Motor Show next March.