The Ford Ka has been a prime example that the Blue Oval can be successful at making little cars, even if they kind of look like basketball shoes. After 12 years of service, it's time to shake things up a bit. The next Ka shares mechanicals with the stylish Fiat 500, and after scoping the first unofficial pics from Auto Express, the Ford will be just as cute as its Italian sibling. Designers did manage to heavily differentiate the Ka from the 500, skipping the rounded lines in favor of edgier lines and details that reinforce Ford of Europe's styling language. Think micro-Fiesta, and you've got the picture.

Since it's for European consumption, it'll have no less than three powertrains from the get-go, with a 68 hp 1.2L, a 100 hp 1.4L, and a 1.3L, 50 mpg diesel. Rumor has it that a hotter Ka ST is on its way as well, with 150 hp coming from a turbocharged 1.4L engine. Interior refinement over the outgoing model comes courtesy of better materials and improved ergonomics.

We're still a few months away from the Ka's official unveiling at the Paris Auto Show in September, but we like what we see so far. Besides, if it's good enough for Bond, it'll be good enough for us. The Ka will be produced in Poland and it'll go on sale in Europe by the end of the year.

Related Gallery2009 Ford Ka

[Source: Auto Express]