• Jul 7, 2010
Ford Start Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

During our favorite Southern California car meet this past weekend we were wondering what was drawing such a large crowd up front. We could clearly see the first Ferrari 458 Italia make an appearance off to the side, itself drawing quite a crowd, but something very interesting looked to be parked right alongside a beautiful Porsche Speedster hardtop. Anything that would draw attention away from the Ferrari and a classic Porsche had to be pretty impressive itself, so when we finally pushed through the throngs of admirers, we were a bit surprised to see the new Ford Start Concept.

The Start was unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show a few months ago and has since rested inside the Ford Design Studio. Lucky for us, the Ford crew decided this concept needed a bit of fresh air, so they drove it over to the meet-up and parked it front and center between the Speedster and an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato, both said to be styling influences for the design team. The design was a huge hit with the attendees, admiring its stance and size as much as its striking styling cues. The rear pillar trusses got a lot of appreciative glances in particular, as did the interior.

Designers on hand wouldn't comment on production plans for this little runabout, but the crowd seemed to want one – now – and we are right in line with them. This could easily be the look of the next Ford Ka, with a funky ferocity to that has us thinking of the original Mini more than the current BMW version. If nothing else the Start gives us an even clearer vision of what Ford's "Post-Kinetic" design language will generate in future models. One feature we know we'll be seeing more of its the engine: The Start features the new Ecoboost 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, which is said to be good for 120 horsepower in this application. Click on the gallery below to see even more pics of the Start in the wild.



Photos by Frank Filipponio/Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      If it really had the engine it says it has, with that size of vehicle, I'm guessing it would get 60+ MPG and be less expensive and more practical than electric. Nothing like getting a tow 2 blocks from your house because you ran out of juice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford is crazy if this does not become the next Ka. I love the exterior styling but I don't think those headlights would make it to production.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, some lady was checking out just the lights and the guy in charge and taking questions was bragging about how fancy they are with sketching inside and are easy to produce since LED technology is a lot better and easily accesible now. So don't be surprised to see some form of them making it through to production.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's a cool little city car. I'd much rather have that than a Smart.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I too would like one of these, it would replace and totally outclass the little urban transport I currently drive. Bring it on- please, and price it realistically.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd get one too. Love the design of this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Very interesting concept. I could see this being the next Ka. The back pillars would appear to have vents pointed towards the rear glass. That might be an interesting way to help heat and cool the back seat while adding defrost capabilities potentially without the wires.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ford could position the Start to replace the VW New Beetle in the US market. It should be a way to highlight the small EcoBoost engine and even a series of non-EcoBoost engines.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm personally not wild about the exterior styling, but I can see how it will be popular.

      I do, however, really like that interior. I like the way the dash is laid out like a smartphone almost, and that reminds me of the EP civic si dash shifter. That would be cool to download apps to your car and configure them how you'd like to if thats what I'm seeing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Disagree and agree. I really like the exterior. In particular I like the slit-style lights. With LEDs becoming more and more affordable, I think we will be seeing more lights like this. They help to give the rather bubbly car a more aggressive and menacing look. The wheels are cool too but I think phone dial style wheels (think Porsche 944 or Lamborghini Diablo) would be sick.

        But I agree, the interior is really very clean. I'm not a fan in general of the dash mounted shifter but in a vehicle this small, I understand the reasoning.
      • 4 Years Ago
      At first I didn't like the car, but seeing the up-close shots it looks pretty awesome. I can see why so many people like it, it looks very new and fresh. I think the interiors is pretty awesome. Hopefully this car gets released, Ford could really use something like this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was there! I even buzzed about it and put pictures up on the spot. Judging from public reaction, it's going to do very well. There were a lot of questions and good comments. One of these days, I'm going to have to bump into you autobloggers.

      I was listening to one of the directors (the one in the blue Italia track jacket), and he was telling people it's not far off and everything is production ready, including the engine. Apparently, the 1.0l EcoBoost engine just went into production and is already being applied to some car.
      He then went on to have a very interesting conversation with some broad carrying a parrot about how the manufacturing would bring America into a new light, for it's product and technology. I trailed off though since a very stunning DBS showed up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        At least one thing will change- those pencil-thin side mirrors never make it to production.

        Funny about the DBS- I'm sure that happened a lot...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great concept with a great engine, I'm excited! I can totally see at as an all-electric vehicle too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "This could easily be the look of the next Ford Ka"

      This should have been the look of the current Ford Ka, instead of a shrunk and melted Fiesta.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Finally a Ford for the city!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was also there, it was hard to take any decent pictures of it with all the people around it! Near the end as they moved it there were a few good photo opportunities. Pretty cool little thing but would much rather of had that Alfa Sprint Zagato.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/49336177@N05/
    • Load More Comments