Classic Ford Ka Modernized as 2021 City Car

Classic Ford Ka Modernized as 2021 City Car 3 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/The Sketch Monkey
Classic Ford Ka Modernized as 2021 City CarClassic Ford Ka Modernized as 2021 City Car
It's time to show the first-generation Ford Ka some real love. It's one of the most original small cars of all time, still loved to this day by teens with fresh permits and no money.
Well, maybe not "loved." If they could afford something better, they'd buy it. But the first Ford Ka is a great car to learn driving on, honest, simple and light. It came out in 1996 and stayed in production virtually unchanged for about a decade.

Ford tried two more times to sell the Ka to Europeans, but they were lackluster attempts. The Mk2 Ka was just a re-bodied Fiat 500, somewhat overpriced and lacking that raw characteristic. The 3rd model came in 2016 as a Dacia Sandero alternative but was offered only for two years. Europeans had completely changed the way they bought cars, so it made zero sense.

The Sketch Monkey also thinks this is one of the best small cars ever, but for entirely different reasons. For him, the Ka is a great design from an era where Ford was more adventurous with its lines. This mash of ellipses inspired him to make a 2021 version, still firmly anchored in 1996's look, but fully modernized.

The redesign starts by ironing out everything and adding some extra-sharp creases at the back. The taillights date this car, so they're made smaller and updated to an LED look. A central exhaust and some big white wheels give the Ka sporty credentials it doesn't deserve or need. But Ford did make the SportKa, which replaced the normal 60 horsepower 1.3L with a 95 hp 1.6-liter. In excellent condition, these can still cost about €2,000 today, so there's a tiny collector's market for them.

So should the Ka make a comeback? We think it needs to, but not as a revival of the old model. Ford will eventually need to sell a small, full-electric city car costing €20,000 or so. The Ka would be the perfect retro nameplate to scare the electric VW Up! and its sisters from SEAT and Skoda.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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