Ford Sportka: New Sporty Derivative Of The Ka | Part Two

Baby You Can Drive, My Ka!

Fervently passionate for the next bit of twisty road, the new Sportka is ready made for the enthusiastic driver. Sportka is poised, confident, precise and robust in its dynamic capabilities, which are the keys to inspiring real driving fun.

Sportka was engineered with Ford’s trademark attention to chassis detail to provide a reassuring driving experience that both flatters the novice and rewards the skilled driver. It is a car as eager as its driver. Its strengths are extremely well balanced and its feedback to the driver is both intuitive and predictable.

From the first touch of its chunky leather-wrapped steering wheel and short-throw shifter, Sportka connects the driver with a feeling of the road. This feeling of connectivity is evident in every aspect of the Sportka driving experience.

Careful attention to detail has been devoted to optimising Sportka’s rack and pinion steering system for a precise, instantly responsive feel that enthusiastic drivers will love. The variable-ratio steering responds to every driver input with assurance, devouring curves with vigour and asking for more.

Sportka connects to the road with wider, 195/45R16 tyres in a low-rolling-resistance tread design. Larger in diameter and width than the Ka’s standard 13-inch tyres, they give Sportka a more aggressive footprint to the road.

Sportka features 16-inch alloy wheels with six sculpted spokes, which also contribute to the vehicle’s confident stance and ready-for-fun spirit.

Sportka’s stance is influenced by its ride height, which is lower than its mainstream Ka counterpart.

Sportka’s uprated MacPherson strut front suspension features a wider track and a new structural crossmember to provide stiff mounting points for the suspension and steering systems. Ford engineers have optimised the suspension to give Sportka increased roll stiffness. The anti-roll bar is 64 per cent stiffer than that of the Ka, and front spring rates are 30 per cent higher. This contributes to Sportka’s riding-on-rails responsive handling behaviour.

At the rear, engineers dialled in added roll stiffness to Sportka’s Fiesta-based twist-beam suspension, and increased camber to provide the optimal level of toe-in, providing a confident, reassuring demeanour under all driving conditions. Rear roll stiffness is 45 per cent higher than the mainstream Ka, and spring rates are 7 per cent higher.

Reflecting its balanced handling capabilities, Sportka’s braking is robust and confident. Sportka features standard ventilated front disc brakes and rear drums, and anti-lock braking (ABS) is standard equipment.

Despite its sportier edge, Sportka also has been engineered for comfort. Particular attention was paid to minimising the transmission of road noise and vibration into the occupant compartment through the use of enhanced insulation and features like engine hydromounts.

Intake and exhaust notes have been tuned to provide the driver with instant feedback on inputs to Sportka’s 1.6-litre Duratac 8V engine.

continues... | Part Three
Published 24 February 2003 Melanie Carter

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