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.