Ford is readying its new Ka, which shares its genes with the cute Fiat 500.
The liaison started at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show: Sergio Marchionne, boss of Fiat, and Lewis Booth, chief of Ford Europe began their talks about a co-operation for a new city-car project - the new Ford Ka, first introduced in 1996, and a new baby Fiat.
Booth said after the meeting that both companies are seeking substantially lower costs for development and materials, while offering drastically-improved products.
Six months after their first meeting both manufacturers signed a co-operation contract at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. Then, exactly two years later, the first of the twins was born: the Fiat 500, which was officially launched at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Ka, however, was not on display. But we can show it to you as our spies caught a prototype with little camouflage undergoing road tests close to the Ford’s headquarters in Cologne.
The new Ford Ka, will be built next to the 500 at Fiat's Tychy plant in Poland.
All three engines yet introduced for the Fiat 500 will be available for the Ka, too, and they will be ready to meet the emissions limits set by Euro 5 standards coming into force in 2011.