Different Roads 
Ford Ka. 1996.
Ford Ka. 1996.
Courtesy Ford
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  The Ford Ka, introduced in Europe and South America in 1996, is an appealing, small, and affordable car that doesn’t induce any of the sense of sacrifice that many of the entry-level cars of the past did. The Ka–an Egyptian word for vitality–has an unusual front-to-back bubble shape that offers a sophisticated and likable contour. The car is a mere 1,958 pounds and shorter than even the Ford Fiesta or Escort. Its performance, however, outshines many subcompact cars, even with a fuel rating of 48 mpg (miles per gallon). Its organic shape affords the car a low drag efficiency, and the three-door styling achieves the maximum amount of interior space with the minimal footprint for easier parking and maneuverability. Visibility has also been maximized by including large glass areas. In addition, the interior has been rethought to include a curving wraparound driving console and many small storage units, a feature popular with younger drivers who tend to keep lots of smaller objects in their cars. The production of the car was also streamlined by reducing the number of parts from 3,000 for a Fiesta to only 1,200 for the Ka.


© 1999  The Museum of Modern Art, New York