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Ford Ka for South Africa

2005-08-12 08:23

The Ford Ka

John Oxley

Wheels24 can reveal exclusively that the Ka is coming here after news that dealers are gearing up for the new model.

An insider source told me sales and service staff are to start training on the new car within a month.

This backs up discussions I had with Ford SA sales and marketing director Nigel Harris almost a year ago, when he indicated he would like to get the Ka to SA if the numbers could be made to work.

The Ka would certainly fill the gap at the bottom of Ford's range left by the demise of the old-model Mazda 323/Sting, which went out of production last year, dropping Ford SA down the sales charts.

It would slot nicely under the current Ford Ikon and Fiesta versions.

Economy

In European markets the Ka has a 1.3-litre 8-valve Zetec engine producing 52 kW at 5 500 r/min, and this gives the car good performance and economy, while still offering room for four.

However, some markets use the 70 kW 1.6-litre "made-in-South Africa" RoCam engine, so it would be logical to use this version here, possibly fitted with a 55 kW 1.3-litre RoCam engine as used in the Ford Ikon.

Styling of the Ka is zooty and modern, and handling, as with all Fords currently in production, is a high point, with overseas road tests putting the accent on fun driving.

Low running costs are also cited.


Kylie Minogue with the StreetKa

It is not know whether or not the drop-top StreetKa will be imported.

Only 1.6-litre models of the Ka and StreetKa get standard ABS anti-lock brakes - these are cost options on other versions (although they may feature on some special-edition models).

Passenger and side airbags are also optional, and there are only two rear three-point seatbelts and headrests.

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