From the Mark 1 to the future Mark 3, a concise history of the Ford Ka.
The Ford Ka was first introduced to the market in September 1996 as a compact family car. Based on the Mark 4 Ford Fiesta platform, the Mark 1 Ford Ka boasted an original iconic design which sparked a mixed reaction upon its release. The memorable New Edge design was executed by Claude Lobo and featured plastic body bumpers to reduce damage during city driving.
The Mark 1 Ford Ka was celebrated by the motoring critics for its nimble handling and tight grip – both of which were attributed to Ford’s Chief Technical Officer Richard Parry-Jones. Upon its launch, the Mark 1 Ford Ka was available with a host of production options including air conditioning, power steering and central locking. In 1999 to cater to popular demand, the American manufacturer introduced body-coloured bumper mouldings to the Ford Ka to create a sleeker image.
In 2003 the SportKa was introduced by Ford. Featuring redesigned 16 inch alloy wheels, a sporty body kit and tightened suspension, the SportKa was aimed at those who wanted a compact, affordable sporty-looking vehicle. 2005 saw all the Ka models receive a much-needed refresh. All standard Ka’s receieved a fresh interior while the StreetKa and the SportKa received a new 93 hp (69 kW) 1.6 litre 8-valve Duratec petrol engine.
The second generation of the Ford Ka was officially launched in 2008. Built in Fiat’s Poland factory, the Mark 2 Ka was much larger than previous models and featured a completely new design. Styled in connection with Ford’s Kinectic Design philosophy, the Mark 2 was available with a choice of two engines and featured a host of modern appliances including a USB port and Bluetooth phone connection.
Awarded four stars out of a possible five in the Euro NCAP safety tests, the Ford Ka was also packed with a plethora of safety features including the driver and passenger airbags and ABS. With the second generation Ka Ford introduced a range of interior styling and ‘expressive colour’ options.
Although not yet confirmed by Ford, many believe the new generation of the Ford Ka will be introduced in 2015. Thought to be based on the Ford Start Concept, many expect the Mark 3 Ford Ka to feature a 1.6 litre 3 cylinder engine and be manufactured out of recycled materials.