Although the all-new Focus won’t grace us with its presence at the forthcoming 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Ford will still have something (relatively) fresh to show. The Blue Oval’s cheapest car on sale in Europe is going through a nip and tuck bringing along a rugged-looking Active version in the same vein as the Fiesta Active launched last year.
This new pseudo crossover is more than just a styling pack as aside from the typical plastic body cladding, it also benefits from a jacked-up suspension (+23 millimeters / 0.9 inches), a wider track as well as a bigger front anti-roll bar. Not only that, but Ford’s engineers also fiddled with the electronic power steering to make the Ka+ Active feel more like a crossover rather than a city car. Other updates include retuned dampers enabling a smoother ride when driving on bumpy roads, while the revised Active Rollover Prevention system provides enhanced security when you have luggage strapped onto the roof.
Beyond the newly added Active specification, the Ka+ has gained a thrifty 1.5-liter turbodiesel engine rated at 94 horsepower and producing a maximum torque of 215 Newton-meters (159 pound-feet) from 1,750 rpm. Easy on the wallet, the TDCi unit emits only 99 g/km of CO2 and benefits from a system called “Smart Regenerative Charging” to further improve fuel efficiency by automatically engaging the alternator to charge the battery when the vehicle is braking and coasting.
On the gasoline side, gone is the old 1.2-liter Duratec as instead the pint-sized car has gained an all-new Ti-VCT engine of the same displacement that can be had with either 69 hp or 84 hp. It has many things in common with the larger 1.5-liter EcoBoost mill inside the new Euro-spec Fiesta ST and aims to deliver improved efficiency as well as a quieter operation, with less engine noise penetrating the cabin. Regardless if it’s a gasoline or diesel, a five-speed manual gearbox is in charge of sending power to the front wheels for both the regular Ka+ and the new Ka+ Active.
Despite being Ford’s entry-level offering on the old continent, the Ka+ doesn’t skimp on features. It has the company’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with a 6.5-inch color touchscreen as well as both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. It even packs niceties such as heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, heated windscreen, along with rear parking sensors and automatic climate control – all while offering an ample amount of room for a car in this segment.
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Ford will have the Ka+ and its more versatile Active derivative on sale in Europe later this year.
Gallery: 2018 Ford Ka+
SUV-INSPIRED ACTIVE CROSSOVER HEADS NEW FORD KA+ LINE-UP
- New Ford KA+ small car line-up delivers for the first time a new KA+ Active crossover version with increased ride height, rugged exterior styling and advanced technologies
- Assertively styled new KA+ range offers SYNC 3 infotainment with 6.5-inch screen, Quickclear heated windscreen, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps
- Fuel-efficient engines include all-new 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine with up to 10 per cent more torque at low rpm; 1.5-litre TDCi is first KA+ diesel option for effortless cruising
- Spacious and practical KA+ and KA+ Active with room for five adults and ample luggage on sale later this year priced from £10,795 in the U.K.
COLOGNE, Germany, 5 February 2018 – Ford today revealed the new KA+ – for the first time also offered as new KA+ Active crossover version – delivering greater comfort and convenience, more driver assistance technologies than the current model, and enhanced interior and exterior styling.
Offering generous space for five passengers and ample luggage, the new KA+ and KA+ Active are available with technologies including Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps.
The new KA+ and KA+ Active for the first time also deliver a choice of petrol and diesel powertrains, including Ford’s new refined and fuel-efficient 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Ti-VCT (Twin independent Variable Camshaft Timing) petrol engine offering 70PS or 85PS, and Ford’s 95PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine designed to meet the needs of higher-mileage drivers.
The new KA+ Active further enhances 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.
“Last year Ford sold more than 200,000 SUVs in Europe for the first time, and demand for SUV and crossover models has never been higher. Our new Ford KA+ Active model will this year make the crossover affordable to even greater numbers of customers, with aspirational styling, sophisticated technologies customers would expect to see in much more expensive cars,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service.
“Ford has sold more than 61,000 KA+ since we first introduced the model in late 2016, and now we're offering customers even more choice with our first KA+ diesel engine for greater fuel-efficiency and cruising ability, and all-new petrol powertrains that are more responsive in town, all meeting the latest stringent emissions standards."
The KA+ was introduced to customers in Europe as a spacious, well-equipped and value-for-money small car that offers excellent fuel-efficiency and fun-to-drive dynamics at an affordable price.
The KA+ Active crossover is the second in a new line-up of Active cars to be offered by Ford, following the Fiesta Active that goes on sale later this year. Active models feature SUV-inspired styling, raised ride height and additional bodyside mouldings, while delivering hatchback practicality and true Ford fun-to-drive characteristics.
Stylish and well equipped
Available in Studio and Zetec specifications, in addition to the new Active model, the new KA+ features a high-mounted trapezoidal grille and large, swept-back headlamps, in keeping with Ford’s latest design language.
A new mesh grille features a chrome surround, and standard foglamps and daylight running lamps are highlighted with a distinctive C-shaped chrome detail, echoed by a C-shaped moulding at each corner of the rear bumper. Restyled front and rear bumpers contribute to the assertive new look.
The KA+ Active features ride height raised by 23mm and exterior styling enhanced with additional rocker and wheel-arch mouldings, a unique black finish for the upper and lower front grilles, and roof rails for carrying bikes and sports equipment – to support active lifestyles.
Further exclusive specification for the KA+ Active includes unique 15-inch alloy wheels and Canyon Ridge bronze metallic exterior paint colour.
The KA+ interior features a grained finish on the instrument panel and durable trim materials in a stylish dark charcoal colour scheme. Distinctive chrome accents are applied in areas regularly touched by customers and highly visible areas such as the door release handles, centre console controls and air vents.
The KA+ Active cabin is enhanced with Active-embossed scuff plates and a unique to Active leather steering wheel design incorporating cruise control switches and featuring Sienna Hazel stitching. Front and rear seats feature special fabric designs with Sienna Hazel stripes and matching stitching, and all-weather mats for both the cabin and cargo area will protect the interior from muddy shoes and boots.
Technology for convenience
New available comfort, convenience and driver assistance technologies will help deliver a more relaxed, refined and confident driving experience for new KA+ and KA+ Active customers.
Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system enables drivers to control audio and connected smartphones using voice commands, or via the tablet-inspired 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™.
Further technologies available to make driving easier include rain-sensitive wipers, headlamps that turn on automatically as daylight fades, and Ford’s Quickclear heated windscreen for faster getaways on frosty mornings. Heated front seats, Electronic Automatic Temperature Control and rear parking sensors are also offered.
All KA+ and KA+ Active models offer a comprehensive standard specification including power front windows and door mirrors, remote central locking, Hill Start Assist, Speed Limiter, and Ford Easy Fuel. The engine now starts with the push of a button, and in response to customer feedback, the bootspace is easier to access with a tailgate-mounted switch for easy opening, in addition to the convenient interior release accessible from the driver’s seat.
Six airbags, Electronic Stability Control and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System protect occupants, and available Ford MyKey technology allows owners to set maximum speed and audio volume limits, and ensure safety features are not disabled when young and inexperienced drivers drive KA+.
A spacious interior allows a 2-metre tall passenger to comfortably sit behind a driver of a similar height. Further practicality is offered with rear seats that split 60/40 to fit larger loads.
Power of choice
The new KA+ and KA+ Active for the first time offer customers the power of choice, with available fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines that meet the latest, stringent Euro Stage 6 emissions standards, supported by standard Auto Start-Stop technology.
Ford’s all-new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Ti-VCT petrol engine shares a core architecture with the 200PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine that powers the all-new Ford Fiesta ST, on sale later this year, to deliver from an anticipated 114g/km CO2.*
Compared with the outgoing 1.2-litre Duratec petrol engine, the new engine offers up to 10 per cent more torque between 1,000 rpm and 3,000 rpm for optimised responsiveness in everyday driving, while delivering an anticipated average four per cent fuel-efficiency improvement across the rev-range for reduced running costs.
A three-cylinder configuration reduces friction and an aluminium block and cylinder head reduce weight, helping achieve improved fuel-efficiency.
Further technologies include:
- Twin independent Variable Camshaft Timing that allows intake and exhaust valve timing to be adjusted independently for faster throttle response, improved low-end torque, and enhanced fuel-efficiency
- Integrated exhaust manifold that optimises the exhaust system warm-up for reduced emissions
- Two-stage variable displacement oil pump, Diamond-Like Coating for pistons and belt-in-oil primary drive belt design all contributing to optimised friction for greater fuel‑efficiency
The all-new 1.2-litre Ti-VCT also delivers improved refinement with an innovative off-set crankshaft design that counter-balances the three-cylinder operation without the need for a balancer shaft, a valvetrain optimised for quieter operation and an acoustic-isolation system to reduce the intrusion of engine noise into the cabin.
Both KA+ and KA+ Active are offered with Ford’s 95PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine – anticipated to deliver from 99g/km CO2, producing 215Nm of torque at 1750-2500 rpm for effortless cruising over longer distances.
The 1.5-litre TDCi features optimised combustion chamber design, turbocharging and sophisticated fuel injection to enhance refinement. Smart Regenerative Charging improves fuel‑efficiency by selectively engaging the alternator and charging the battery when the vehicle is coasting and braking.
All new KA+ and KA+ Active powertrains use Ford’s new low-friction five-speed manual transmission, delivering improved shift quality, refinement, and fuel-efficiency with features including Teflon-coated internal components, low-friction bearings and a synchronised reverse gear for easier selection.
Designed for Europe’s drivers
The new KA+ and KA+ Active make Ford’s acclaimed engaging and fun to drive character accessible to even greater numbers of customers. A chassis specification engineered to meet European driving expectations offers a unique front sub-frame, and suspension components including springs, dampers, rear torsion beam axle optimised for Europe’s roads. Enhanced door seals, sound proofing and aerodynamics are designed to reduce road and wind noise in the cabin.
In addition, the KA+ Active features a wider track, larger front anti-roll bar and uniquely tuned Electronic Power Assisted Steering, for optimised crossover handling. Retuned dampers feature a hydraulic rebound stopper for a smoother ride over harsh surfaces, and Active Rollover Prevention works within the Electronic Stability Control system to offer additional security when carrying roof loads.
To enhance crash performance, nearly 50 per cent of the KA+ body is made from high-strength steels, including the floor, front and rear chassis rails, window pillars, front bumper beam and passenger door beams.
The new KA+ and KA+ Active go on sale across Europe later this year, priced from £10,795 in the U.K.