Cars we don’t get: Ford’s funky Ka

Riley Riley

Remember Ford’s funky little Ka.

Sold here between 1999 and 2002, a mate had one and reckoned it was fantastic for commuting, that is until it was written off.

Until recently they still made the Ka overseas, but it was no longer offered here.

Here’s a titbit that might make you laugh though.

In 2006, Ford got into trouble for producing two advertisements to support the release of the SportKa — Ka’s so-called evil twin.

The first commercial was shown briefly on UK television and showed a bird, presumably a pigeon being smacked for six after it lands on the bonnet of a car (sorry, make that Ka).

The second which never made it to TV but somehow found its way into the wild shows a cat poking its head in where it’s not wanted — and actually being decapitated by the sunroof for its trouble.

I kid you not . . .

Not surprisingly, the ads were binned and Ford was forced to issue an apology.

Viewers were assured no animals were harmed in the making of the ads which were created using computer-generated visual effects.

The advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, said it would investigate how the cat ad came to be released on to the internet.

The Ka as we got back in 1999.


Anyway, back to the Ka itself.

Released in 1996, it was produced over three generations, with very different versions marketed in Europe and South America.

It was a budget buy, based on the same platform as the larger Fiesta, with the Ka+ introduced in Europe as a more spacious, well-equipped and value-for-money small car that offered excellent fuel-efficiency and fun-to-drive dynamics — all at an affordable price.

The new KA+ and soon to be SUV, the KA+ Active, offered a choice of petrol and diesel engines, including Ford’s new refined and fuel-efficient 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Ti-VCT (Twin independent Variable Camshaft Timing) petrol engine, offering outputs of 51kW or 62kW, plus a 70kW 1.5-litre TDCi diesel designed to meet the needs of high-mileage drivers.

The new KA+ Active was designed to cash in on the strong demand for high riding SUVs, enhancing the compact five-door model with rugged bodystyling, raised ride-height and unique chassis tuning, unique front grille designs, exclusive interior finishes and a high-level standard equipment specification.

The new Ka was produced at Camaçari, Brazil (from where it was exported to Argentina) and in Sanand, Gujarat, India (from where it was exported to Mexico, South Africa and Europe).

Ka finally ceased production in 2021.


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