The Dutch may be a laid back and reserved bunch, but don’t mistake a general relaxed attitude with nonchalance. Even if these folks are perfectly happy sipping on coffee with friends during the dead of winter, they still know a thing or two about cars and what a special edition model entails.
Their idea is something like this limited run Ford Ka, called the ‘Grand Prix’, which Ford recently unveiled as an exclusive model for the fun-loving people of the Netherlands.
Coming in a choice of either Sunrise with Chrystal White accents or the other way around – Chrystal White with Sunrise accents – the Ford Ka Grand Prix has been aesthetically upgraded, making it unique from all other Ka models you’ll ever come across.
One of the most noticeable features of the Ka Grand Prix is the offsetting racing stripe that runs the length of the car. Typically, we’d expect these them to be in the middle of the car, but the stripes being on the driver side actually adds a little artistic panache. In addition to the racing stripe, the Ka Grand Prix also comes with a large rear spoiler, contrasting grilles and side mirrors, extra dark Privacy Glass and fog lamps, and a set of 16” alloy wheels. Inside the car, the same two-tone finish is visually evident as Ford dressed up the seats and the steering wheel in the same Sunrise-Chrystal White accent as the exterior. On top of the luxury dress-up, the Ka Grand Prix also has air conditioning, remote central locking, electric door windows, a CD player/audio system, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, and a height-adjustable wheel and driver’s seat.
Unfortunately, Ford will only be releasing 120 of the Ka Grand Prix and worse than that, the car will only be sold in the Netherlands. In case you are from the area, then you might want to reserve a piece for just €10,995, or about $15,600 based on current exchange rates.
If the rumors that are going around are true, the Ford Ka might be in its final days. According to Inside Line, Ford has wanted to bring the new Start concept to market as a replacement for the Ka. The new three-door will get a EcoBoost three-cylinder engine with around 120 horsepower.
The price of this new mini car will be around $13,000 and it will hit markets in India, China and South America before it will come to the rest of the world. We probably won’t see the Start concept in the United States, but it would prove to be tough competition for the Mini Cooper, Scion iQ and the Fiat 500.
The Start won’t be hitting the production line until 2014, so these stories are just rumors at this point. We must also take into consideration that even if the Start does replace the Ka, there is still a chance that it will retain the Ka name.
Ford’s popular contender in the city car segment, the Ka is very popular in Europe for its compact size, confident fuel economy and excellent handling. A benefit of the new Chrysler-Ford alliance is that Ford’s globally successful mini-car will come to the U.S. If the Ka ever does it will compete alongside cars like the Smart ForTwo, the smallest car sold in the U.S. today.
Due to the current Chrysler-FIAT conncetion, and the fact that the Ford Ka shares the same platform as the Italian automaker’s successful FIAT 500, the Ka has an even stronger case for U.S. sales. The Chrysler offering will be in dealerships wearing a price tag around $17,000 while the Ford could make sense at $10,000.
In a recent sit down with the Ford’s Executive Vice President, Mark Fields (who just so happens to be the President of all their business in The Americas) it did not seem like the Ka would be here anytime soon. Instead Ford will test the waters with the slightly larger Ford Fiesta, a model that has been spotted across America, to see if the domestic market can warm up to the idea of owning a smaller car. But he definitely didn’t rule out the Ka coming to the U.S.
First unveiled in 1996, the Ford Ka has finally officially entered the second generation. The new generation Ka made its world debut at the 2008 Paris Auto Show and comes with new exterior design, new interior and engines.
Ford designers have given the new Ka a fashionable, modern appearance based around the company’s ’kinetic design’ form language. A number of visual cues provide a connection to the original Ka, but with its distinctive face and chunky proportions the new model has its own unique character.
The affordable new Ford Ka is designed to be both cheap to run and kind to the environment. It uses two economical, low emission engines: a 1.2-litre 69 PS Duratec petrol engine and, for the first time on Ka, a 1.3-litre 75 PS Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel.
Both petrol and diesel models are available with sub-120g/km CO2 emissions. The 1.2-litre petrol model, which is expected to be the largest seller in the new range, has cut fuel consumption by 21 per cent compared to the previous 1.3-litre Ka. The diesel model – available on the Ka for the first time – improves economy still further, achieving a combined fuel consumption of 4.2 litres/100km.
Press release after the jump. Full story
Ford is taking a page from Volkswagen and is going to "think small". We already know that Ford will bring the small Fiesta and European Focus to these shores by 2010, but it may go even smaller and bring in the diminutive Ka along for the ride as well.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally hinted to the Automotive News that the company is taking a serious look at making the Ka part of its small car strategy. There is no deadline for when/if a final decision will be made.
"It will be really interesting to see how far down we go in size," Mulally said. But the Ford CEO must find a way to achieve a decent profit margin on small cars, and one good way is to spread the development costs of the European cars such as the Ka, Fiesta and Focus (European) over as many markets as possible. Still, it will be tough to replace the $8,000 to $10,000-plus profit margins on big pickups and SUVs.
The redesigned Ka is reciving favorable reviews for both styling and performance, but that’s in Europe. The 1.2 and 1.4-liter gas engines that are planned for use in the current production models may have a tough uphill battle (pun intended) on these shores. But what will certainly help the Ka’s chances with the U.S. consumer is its use as the choice of Bond-girl hottie in the latest flick.
Ford U.K. announced today pricing for the all-new 2009 Ka that will go on sale in January. Pricing starts at £7,995 for the Studio (basic) version, £8,495 for the Style, £8,995 for the Style+, and £9,495 for the Zetec model. This translates into a price range of about $10,000 to $12,000 at current exchange rates, but there is no word yet on the price range when/if the Ka makes it to the States.
All-new Ka is available with 1.2 69 hp gas and 1.3 75 hp diesel engines at its debut. There are future plans to expand range to include a convertible and a high performance ST model.
Press release after the jump. Full story
Bond is all about the Aston Martin, and now that Ford has sold the British brand, it may be having a its own bit of regret for missing out on the promotional material. Possibly to get over its quantum of solace, the Ford Ka will be featured in the new James Bond flick, ‘Quantum of Solace’ (U.S. premiere November 14th).
Unfortunately for Ford, it isn’t Bond piloting its little car, but instead the ubiquitous feisty sidekick/sex toy. But Ford is still taking the time to do plenty of shameless promotion. The actress in the movie Olga Kurylenko is having a series of promotional programs highlighting he career so far, and Ford wants you to know because she will also be likely seen with her Ka. If you’re still interested hit the jump for the press release and more info. Full story
The small car flood begins. Ford was once very clear about keeping the miniature Ka in Europe, but that now has seemed to change. Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally says increased demand for small cars has led the automaker to revisit its decision not to bring the tiny Ka model to the United States.
The redesigned Ka made its world debut last week at the Paris Auto Show and will go on sale on the European market by late this year or early 2009. The smallest car current in Ford’s line up is the Focus, and those sales were 24 percent through September.
Who said the Ford Ka is a boring car? It might have been in the past, but the new generation is quite impressive. And if this is not enough for you, Ford brings to Paris Auto Show three customized Ka, offering a combination of exciting interior and exterior designs based on very different themes. All three packs are available on the standard Zetec model only.
The Ka Digital is using a high-contrast green as the base colour. The exterior pack features patterned body stripes and solid green grille surround and door mirror cappings. The interior pack includes seats with patterned inserts and green headrests, green door panels, and a solid green finish to the centre console bezel, door pulls, instrument cluster shroud, steering wheel and the rings around the air vents.
Ka Grand prix comprises patterned body stripes with solid colour grille surround and door mirror cappings, and can be combined with a rear spoiler and white alloy wheels. The interior pack features red seats with an embossed white pattern and white headrests, red door panels and red leather trim on the steering wheel.
And the third one, the Ka Tattoo includes a large decal of the tattoo logo on the roof and a smaller decal on the fender. The interior pack features seats with silver-grey fabric inserts and the tattoo logo embossed on the backrest, silver-grey headrests and door panels, and anthracite leather trim on the steering wheel. Full story
Even if the 2009 Ka will make it world debut next week at the Paris Auto Show, the first small car rolled off the production line at a special ceremony today in Tychy, Poland. Sales will begin early next year and the company will build 120,000 units a year.
While it shares some components with the Fiat 500, which is also built in the Tychy plant, both vehicles look completely different and are true to the individual brands’ identities.
The new Ka is unmistakably a Ford. It captures the same youthful and cheeky spirit of the model it replaces and retains all of the qualities which made the Ka so popular – its compact size, great looks, lively dynamics and fun personality – but presents them in a fresh new package. Full story