By on July 12, 2013

Ford-Ka-2014-frente

Spy photos in Germany of a heavily camouflaged small Ford have set the Brazilian blogosphere on fire. The initial photos were published by a Malaysian site that didn’t really know what they were seeing. It turns out that it’s actually the new Ford Ka, a very important car for our market (and the car I currently drive).

Smaller than the Fiesta, the new car is set to debut in 2014 in Brazil. Apparently, though the car has in its aim mostly emerging markets like Brazil and India, development is being done by Ford Europe. Following on the footsteps of VW’s recently released Fox, the Ka will also sport a 3 cylinder engine with 1000 cc. A simplified version of Ford’s Ecoboost engine, it will not offer direct injection and will go sans turbo. In other words, it’s not really an Ecoboost. Nonetheless, it’ll have an aluminum block and 4 valves per cylinder, all of which will help it reach a very healthy output of around 80 horses, a figure that is competitive with many 1.4L engines in some Brazilian cars.

This time around, the Ka will get 4 doors as well as Ford’s attractive new family face. Being developed by Ford Europe, it’ll undoubtedly have very good handling characteristics and should be better than the current European Ka, which is in fact built by Fiat and is based on the 500 with a different, non-retro shell. The Brazilian one market version is even older, dating back to the last century. As always, at least in Brazil, pricing will be of the utmost importance, but it does look like Ford has a product that will rock the global subcompact market.

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28 Comments on “Dispatches Do Brasil: New Ford Ka...”


  • avatar
    Freddy M

    Because of the proportions, small wheels relative to VERY tall doors and fenders above the arches, I actually thought this car was similar in size to the EcoSport.

    Much better overall styling than the Chevy Spark without a doubt.

    That said I think it’s a pretty good looking little car and 80hp should be just fine for it’s size/weight, but my word it must be tiny inside if it’s smaller than a Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it looks pretty good too. My guess is that the design will give you pretty god headroom. The critical point in this kind of design is the width, if too narrow, and the car too tall it can become rather ungainly.

      Like stated in the article I own a first generation one. I’m 1.8. I feel pretty comfortable in mine, though behind me just kids!

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        That’s one thing that might be of concern even with this new model. The Sonic easily has tons of back seat room compared to the Fiesta. And having sat in a Spark once, I can say that the Spark back seat easily matches the Fiesta’s back seat room too.

        Not too optimistic about this new Ka based on that assumption. But I have to believe it should be larger than your first generation.

        • 0 avatar

          Well, it’s got 4 doors. Try as they might (and there were plenty of leaked pics and prjections over the lifespan of the 1st Ka), Ford could never really justify adding 2 more doors to the first gen Ka. The car was just too small. This one will be bigger then (I believe).

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    And if this latest offering from ford turns out to be a stinker,they can rename it……Ka Ka…..groan ;}>

    • 0 avatar

      Ka is a rather cool name if you know the original meaning. Seemingly, it’s an Egyptian word that means “spirit of life” or something akin to that.

      As a car name, well it’s the butt of jokes everywhere. In Portuguese car is “carro”, so the joke was that Ford had got the first half right. Where was the rest of it?

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    The original Ka was soooo CUTE! This thing, well, uh, it is better looking than a Spark, for sure, but it also bears an unfortunate resemblance to the Dodge Caliber… Especially in THAT color, which it seems like 90% of Calibers wear.

    Hopefully it is still as good to drive as the original was supposed to be. I like the regular Fiat 500 which shares its platform for many reasons, but the brilliance of its handling in base form is not really one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      Wow. I didn’t catch the resemblance to the Caliber. Now I can’t un-see it.

    • 0 avatar

      Remember, the pic is a projection based on the spy pics and sources. In Brazilian eyes, it looks all Ford from the front, very Chevy Onix like from the sides, and way too much VW Gol from the back. Hopefully Ford will do some twitches on it before it reaches production.

      As to Ka x 500, you’re right krhodes1. Ford let Fiat run with second gen Ka and it was detrimental to the brand. The original Ka always sold better than the second. Afterall, why buy the copy if you could get the original? The second Euro Ka was just a 500 with none of the retro cool. Hope this one works better for them. I think it will as its being developed by the same people who have brought us the Focus, Fiesta and new Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      My first thought was it’s a smaller Caliber too. Call it a BB. It’s a complete repudiation of everything the original Ka was.

      • 0 avatar

        Why? Smaller than Fiesta? Check! Simpler than Fiesta? Check.

        Remember, this car will go up against the like of the VW up in Europe. Plus, and perhaps more importantly, it is aimed directly at emerging markets, like India and Brazil. That means that 4 doors are a must, and that it must seat 5 with a trunk that can carry a weekend baggage or a month’s grocery.

        The original Ka was never a huge hit in Brazil. One, it was too expensive. Two, the trunk was too small. Third, it only sat 4. These cars, in markets like Brazil, must do family duty. Carry around 5 people etc. In Brazil, cars like the 500 and Mini has earned some success, but they are a niche. The Ka was supposed to be a volume seller for Ford. Due to its inherent qualities, it never quite reach that, too much of a compromise for most. With this slightly bigger version, I bet Ford is on to something, especially if it keeps that good, or brings up to date, the good riding characteristics of the first generation.

        I could be completely wrong, but with the coming of the EcoSport to Europe, and the success of the new Fiesta there, the new home of the Ford Ka will be the 3rd World.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Hmm…I’m not sold yet, at least not from this one photo.

    – It’s not nearly as attractive and cohesive a design as the 500-based Ka, though that’s probably not fair, as Ford is going with a new platform with this generation.
    – The Ford Fiesta face – which is a nice face – feels a bit tacked on to a body. Also, I don’t know what it is, but the curves of the face are rounder than the rest of the body. Could just be the angle of the photo though.
    – The mesh grille also clashes with the egg-crate lower fascia. Would be better if the lower part were the same mesh.
    – I’ve never been a fan of body-color b-pillars. Chalk it up to growing up in a decade where “faux hardtop” blacked-out pillars were de rigeour, particularly with Japanese sedans.
    – Considering how silly any kind of wheel looks on such a tall, short car, I’m wondering if body-color wheels wouldn’t be a bad idea, or even just blacked-out covers or exposed steelies.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    A car like this is too under-powered for the US market, although I am sure with a proper manual transmission, it should scoot around pretty nicely, throw in an automatic, not so much.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Wonder if it’s based on the 500L.

    • 0 avatar

      Nope, Ford is doing their own work on this. No more ties to Fiat.

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        They should make it a global platform, then they could sell it as the Escort.

        • 0 avatar

          The Escort is coming. It’ll be a Renault/Dacia Logan-esque affair though. In other words, a sedan approaching B segment size (Corolla, Civic) with A segment pricing (Fiesta). There was an article on it not that long ago on TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            Ion

            Won’t that overlap the Focus in alot of markets?

          • 0 avatar

            Not in Brazil. Here the current Ka starts at around 12k USD. The old Fiesta 15k. The new Fiesta 20k (though that is going down as it gradually takes over that market) and goes up all the way to 30k, from where the Focus starts. Of course, there’s some overlap and it remains to be seen where the Escort would fit in (maybe the new Fiesta goes a little down market the Escort can start at 20k, where the competitors are). Right now right around 15 to 17k seems to be the ticket for a car to have monster sales in Brazil.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Considering GM sells the Spark here in the US… I wonder if Ford would bring it here as competition?

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    Kinda reminds me of a Cygnet, for some reason…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I wonder if Brazil will get the Escort out of China as well in the future?

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    No turbo version? Bummer; that would be a true terror among city cars. For those moments when you absolutely, positively, MUST get to the other side of the parking lot right now.

    They could offer that option and call it the Super Ka.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m pretty sure in Europe they’ll get all the goodies. Part of the appeal of the first Ka were the special versions, like the not so imaginatively named Sportka, the convertible Strretka and even the Puma were all related. It just seems that in Brazil we’ll be stuck with the detuned versions.


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