During the 90s, Ford (Europe) underwent a radical re-thinking of the type of cars it was offering. For a long time, and with some notable exceptions, Ford was locked in a boring-car loop, safe in the knowledge that whatever it produced would be gobbled up by an easy-to-please public. Wrong. It worked for a while, but soon enough consumers were demanding more from their cars, even from the budget models, which leads us to the 1996 Ford Ka. A styling combination of roundness and hard, sharp edges, the Ka was cheap to produce, very affordable, and for a while offered some of the best driving experience you could get, at any price. Combining a smooth, comforatble ride, and the handling of a go-kart, the Ka was a resounding success.
The Ford Ka was powered by a relatively primitive 1.3-liter, push-rod four-cylinder engine, developing 59 horsepower. Coupled to a five-speed manual transmission, it still allowed the little car to reach a top speed of 96 miles per hour, and to accelerate to 60 in about 13 seconds.
The 1996 Ford Ka was a revelation for Ford, as well as other manufacturers, who saw the success that a small, well-designed car could have among the buyers of city cars, and those looking for a second car.