Who says urban commuting has to be a chore? FordKa is poised to bring a youthful exuberance and love of driving to the sub-B segment, reflecting Ford’s passion for vehicle dynamics, drivability, stability, precise steering and refinement. Putting it simply, driving the FordKa is pure fun.
FordKa features Independent MacPherson strut front suspension with an anti-roll bar. At the back a twist beam rear axle has special toe-correcting bushes in place to improve tyre grip and steering response. The chassis system has been optimised for precise levels of wheel geometry control, responsive steering and a very refined ride for a vehicle in this class.
The Ka features a wheel base of 2 448mm, which is instrumental in providing a comfortable and refined driving experience, while specially designed fronts struts with low internal friction add to the optimal ride quality and steering feel.
The precise steering system is a rack-and-pinion design together with power-assisted steering, which is a standard feature of the FordKa. This equates to a highly maneuverable and agile package. Nipping into tight parking spaces will be a breeze; the same can be said when navigating the busy streets of the metropolis. This is due in large part to its excellent all-round vision, short front and rear overhangs as well as light steering.
Though light at slow speeds, steering remains communicative at high speeds ensuring you always feel directly connected to the wheels and chassis. The FordKa is set to become one of the most entertaining small cars available on the local market thanks to its optimal balance and adept, agile chassis, which is sure to flatter the novice and reward the expert.
Popular British magazine TopGear gave the Ford Ka their stamp of approval in a recent review. “It really gets stuck into corners. Deathly slow mini-roundabouts you’d barely noticed before become wrist-flicking fun as the Ka cuts cleanly through them,” was their official stance on the gutsy Ka’s sure-footed handling capabilities.
AutoExpress offered similar sentiments. “It’s fun to drive, with a ride that makes it a composed companion both for motorway trips and country road thrashes.”
With its excellent handling, robustness and reliability it’s no surprise that the FordKa has found its way to the motorsport arena. The Ford Racing Rally Ka Championship in England and the UK bares testament to the dynamic capabilities of the fun-to-drive Ka. The entry level series, also referred to as the “Ladder of Opportunity”, provides the perfect vehicle for aspiring rally drivers to exhibit their talents.
This funky looking three-door hatch hides a 1.3-litre RoCam motor under its rounded bonnet. Featuring a modern single-overhead cam design of intelligent simplicity, the 1 297cc motor is built for a long and economical operating lifetime.
The engine has been carefully calibrated to provide strong low-end torque for flexibility and strong performance feel at low engine speeds. Nearly 90 percent of maximum torque is available between 1 500 and 4 500rpm while the torque peak of 106Nm is reached at 3 000rpm.
A maximum power output of 51kW@5500rpm equates to a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 13.7 seconds and a top speed of 167km/h.
The 1.3-litre RoCam has been developed with low friction technology, and is characterized by optimal idle stability and improved refinement.
Low-friction valvetrain technology ensures low fuel consumption levels for the price conscious small-car owner. Lubrication research, influenced by technology used in the top echelons of motorsport, enabled Ford engineers to design optimal surface compatibility and hardness of valvetrain components in order to keep friction levels low.
Roller finger followers, which eliminate nearly all lateral forces working on the valve stems during engine operation, are central to the friction-fighting engine architecture. The camshaft lift profile of the 1.3-litre power plant is transmitted to the valve via a finger follower with a roller bearing, which provides significantly lower friction losses compared to traditional sliding contact valvetrain elements.
The cylinder head features two opposed valves per cylinder at an included angle of 16°. State-of-the-art mixture preparation is provided by electronically-controlled sequential fuel injection.
The camshaft is a hollow tube fabricated with cam lobes that achieve their “net” or final shape during the sintering process and do not require machining. Cylinder bore sizes are highly accurate in manufacturing, allowing for the use of low-friction piston rings and low-friction oil, which also contributes to improved fuel economy.
An urban cycle fuel economy figure (with air-conditioning switched on) of 8.9ℓ/100km is the end result. This figure drops to 6.5ℓ/100kms for a combined cycle and drops further to just 5.1ℓ/100km for out-of-town cycle.
The edgy FordKa has attracted such a loyal following throughout the world that Ford Ka Owner Clubs have emerged in the UK, Turkey, Japan, and the Netherlands, and it has inspired over 20 limited edition models among the European markets.
Critical acclaim has also come by way of a variety of international accolades. England’s influential automobile magazine What Car has named the FordKa the “Best Budget Car” on more than one occasion while Germany’s Auto Zeitung named the nippy tyke the “Best City Car”.