Ford Streetka Evolves From Hit Concept To Hand-Finished Production Reality | Part Two

Ford Streetka Interior

 

Streetka Outside: True To The Concept

“To all but a trained eye, the production Streetka is a twin to the original concept car. That was the original brief for the Ford Design Europe project team: to duplicate the ‘one-off’ show car’s exterior design with any modifications made purely for the purpose of creating a safe and road-legal car for volume production.” (Chris Bird)

Streetka wears a distinctive facial expression. Its polypropylene body-coloured front bumper flares out at the sides into exaggerated wheel arches, framing the headlamp units, which are angular rather than rounded as on the Ka. Integrated front fog lamps flank the distinctive central cutaway section in the lower half of the bumper. The bumpers are slimmer by a few millimetres compared with the concept car to make the production car more svelte for the road.

In profile, the bumpers lead the eye up to the windscreen, which was shortened to suit the ‘roadster’ look while still providing plenty of protection from wind buffeting. Streetka doors have a frameless construction for the side windows. The body-coloured wing mirrors are attached at the base of the A-pillar for good all-round visibility.

The locking petrol cap sits just above the waistline – a location that required specialist engineering to situate the housing in between the safety roll bars and roof stowage area. The roll bars themselves are the only projections as the soft-top is stowed under a flush panel, providing exceptionally clean lines when the hood is folded down.

At the rear, Streetka’s design mirrors the front in the form that was originally created by the Ghia design team.

Streetka’s boot lid as a result, is a specially engineered part which features a braking light set in the centre of the panel above the opening – a styling cue borrowed from more expensive sportscars. The panel curves down and is finished off with an integrated spoiler. This production feature, absent from the concept car, has been added to enhance vehicle dynamics and high-speed stability.

Below the boot sits the Streetka’s distinctive rear bumper treatment, which features a centrally-located reversing light in a lower crossbar.

The other striking feature of this bumper arrangement is the angular two-part light unit, which is slightly recessed (by 1cm) when compared with the concept car, to reduce the risk of breakage in a real-world car-park ‘bump’.

Dedicated Streetka badging is located forward of the rear wheel arches and the bright work scuff plates are inscribed with the name Pininfarina to denote that the car has been produced by the specialist Italian coachbuilders.

Streetka Inside: Simple And Elegant

“The interior design of the new Streetka has been executed to complement the original Ka design. Streetka’s interior ambience and simplicity – augmented by unique details befitting its “star” status – hark back to those early two-seater sports cars that inspired it.” (Chris Bird)

Streetka’s interior ambient colour is the fashionista’s favourite shade, largely black, and peppered with touches of bright work. The dashboard and door furniture are Ebony; the all-new Ka instrument cluster face (featuring an interlinked odometer, rev counter and fuel gauge, depending upon specification level) and central oval clock face are black with white graphics.

The binnacle fascia and radio bezel are coated in Cosmos matt black paint. Aluminium touches abound from the Puma-inspired brushed aluminium ball gear knob, and the air vent grips to the aluminium clock surround and the two-spoke ‘shells’ on the Ebony leather sports steering wheel.

The Streetka will be offered with two trim options. The first has seats and door panels trimmed with ‘Twill’, a black tweed-effect fabric exclusive to the roadster; seat inserts are trimmed in black also available on the Focus ST170. The upgraded sports-style seats are made of a more supportive construction and are positioned lower than in the original car for more of a sportscar feel.

Alternatively, customers could choose the leather option which will feature heated leather seats with matching door panels in a choice of four stylish colours to complement the exterior hues: Ebony, Parchment, Saddle (tan) and eye-catching Infra Red.

Open-top motoring is not complete without a soundtrack. So the Streetka is equipped with superior in-car entertainment provided by the Ford 6000 RDS/EON two-channel radio/CD player with a 2x7 watts (RMS)/2x20 watts (maximum) power output. The more advanced 6006 system in-dash 6-CD player will be fitted as standard for the left-hand drive leather versions and optional on right-hand drive leather versions.

All Streetkas will be fitted with an interior sensing alarm as standard in Britain. Another optional feature for the leather versions is air-conditioning.

The Streetka’s interior can be opened quickly to the elements thanks to the simple operation of the soft-top’s fabric manual hood. This design, true to the concept car, was selected instead of a powered or collapsible hardtop roof for style and affordability.

The seven-step manual top-down operation takes under 30 seconds for one person. This procedure includes lifting and closing the gas-assisted roof cover, which lies flush when the roof is down. Schematic instructions for roof operation are shown on a label inside the car as a quick reminder for Streetka owners so that the spontaneity of open-top motoring is encouraged.

Underneath the roof mechanism (located where the rear seats would be in a regular Ka) ‘bonus’ storage space helps the Streetka’s luggage compartment to pass the ‘golf club’ test. VDA luggage volume is 214 litres. An additional lockable box, situated behind and between the seats, provides an extra ‘cubbyhole’ for CDs and other items.

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

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