LONDON -- Ford of Europe expects a switch to five doors for its new Ka will win buyers seeking a bigger, more functional model than its current Fiat 500-based minicar.
Ford will call the Ka replacement in Europe the Ka+ to reflect that it has five doors instead of the current’s model’s three doors.
“There has been a significant shift to five-doors in the segment,” Ford of Europe’s head of sales and marketing, Roelant de Waard, told journalists on conference call on Thursday. “We are bringing something that appeals to customer demand for a very functional vehicle at around the 10,000 euro [$11,000] mark.”
The Ka+ will be unveiled in the summer. It will go on sale later this year, Ford said in a statement Thursday.
The Ka+’s main rivals will be the Fiat Panda, Volkswagen Up, Renault Twingo and Hyundai i10.
The three-door Ka currently sold in Europe is built by Fiat in Poland alongside the Fiat 500, its platform sibling.
The Ka+ is on a Ford global platform. It is a Europeanized version of the Ka developed in Brazil that the company first showed as a concept in Europe in 2013. A company spokesman said the European version has been “significantly updated” from the model sold in Brazil.
Ford declined to say where the new European Ka will be built. Media reports in Romania have said it will be produced alongside the Ford EcoSport subcompact SUV at the automaker’s Craiova plant.
The Ka is also sold and built in India as the Figo, and the country has been named in some media reports as a possible manufacturing location for the European model.