The Ford Ka is a city car marketed in Europe and elsewhere.
The car was introduced in 1996 as a small and low-cost addition to the Ford range. It was based on the Mark IV Ford Fiesta platform, but with a completely different exterior design. The design borrowed a lot from Ghia's "Saetta" show car, a roadster designed by Filippo Sapino. The vehicle was manufactured on the existing Fiesta production line in Almussafes, Valencia, thus minimising new model investment costs for Ford. The Chief Program Engineer was Kevin O’Neill.
When the Ka was first introduced to the public it provoked mixed reactions, due to its original and striking New Edge design, overseen by Jack Telnack and executed by Claude Lobo.
Besides the fresh styling, the Ka, like its sister cars Fiesta and Puma, was lauded in the motoring press for its nimble handling. Under Richard Parry-Jones' supervision, the suspension and steering settings allowed for spirited cornering and high levels of grip, making it one of the best handling small cars.
In 2003 the Ka brand was diversified, with the addition of a new SportKa featuring a sporty body kit, wider track with stiffened suspension and redesigned 16" (40 cm) alloy wheels. Both models came with slightly widened bumpers front and rear with integral fog lamps.
Source: Wikipedia, 2012