Revealed: New baby Ford

Global city car re-interprets original Ka, eco engines, hi-tech spec and endless personalisation options

FORD’S stunning new baby is taking its first steps: Auto Express has learned that the blue oval is readying a fresh global small car.

The newcomer – which is set to be priced from £8,000 – will seek to regain the charm and sporty drive of the original Ka. The current model was co-developed with Fiat, and shares the 500’s underpinnings. But while its Italian cousin has been a success, Ford’s effort has been less so, as the firm has struggled to give the Ka a stylish look and make it drive as well as the rest of the range. Yet that is all set to change. This time around, the brand will produce a city car which lives up to the original.

Its styling will be based on that of the California-designed Start concept, which debuted earlier this year at the Beijing Motor Show. Under the bonnet, it will be powered by a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine with direct injection and stop-start technology. Developing between 80bhp and 125bhp, but returning around 60mpg and with sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, the unit will also be offered in the Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX ranges.

The new Ka will be introduced first in the emerging markets of China, India and South America. But just like the new Focus – which has 80 per cent of its parts in common no matter where it is being sold – and in line with Ford boss Alan Mulally’s OneFord mantra, it will remain broadly similar across the world.

However, equipment levels will be higher on European cars. Key to this will be the MyFord system, which allows the integration of smartphones with the car’s dash. So, as well as controlling the air-con and sat-nav, you can stream music, play videos and take calls – and control of all of these will be by voice or touchscreen. The car will have more personalisation options than ever before, too.

Ford offers exterior graphics and different trim colours with the current Ka, but the newcomer will feature a far more comprehensive set of options, ranging from vinyl wraps to colour-coded interior lighting, to ensure each example is unique.

Expect the new baby to go on sale in 2014.

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