We haven't talked about or seen the Ford Start Concept in some time, but it's starting to seem like something similar to this car might become a reality soon. Automotive News reports that Ford CEO Alan Mulally says his company is looking at adding a small, value-priced B-segment car slotting in below the Ford Fiesta, and we can't help but think of how well Ford's 2010 concept would fill this spot.

This unnamed sub-Fiesta model would likely take the place of the Ford Ka minicar, and it would ride on the same platform as the Fiesta instead of being built by Fiat on the Fiat 500 platform like the current Ka. The goal of such a car would obviously be to offer a lower-priced car than the Fiesta to help Ford expand in emerging global markets. The article says the this new model would be a global car, but there is no indication as to whether it would ever be offered in North America. There does seem to be a growing market for small cars in this market as evident by the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Chevrolet Spark, but the jury remains out on their long-term sales prospects. Mulally confirmed to Automotive News that if such a car came to fruition, it would definitely wear Ford's iconic Blue Oval rather than branding it with a lower-dollar nameplate like Renault currently does with Dacia and Nissan is planning to do with its revived Datsun brand.

Like the Start Concept, Ford's new value model would almost certainly feature the new 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost in its powertrain lineup. This engine is already available in the larger Ford Focus in other markets (we had a chance to take for a quick spin back in July), and Ford is understood to be evaluating the powerplant for possible North American consumption.


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  • 31 Comments
      justgoawaymad
      • 2 Years Ago
      build it just as it is for the US market and ill replace my one mileage car (metro) with this.
      icerabbit
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like the Ford Ka? 8-/
      sstowes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't they already have the Figo and the Ka? I know both are probably due for a replacement soon; I think under "One Ford" they would roll the two together and sell one car with two different names based on the market.
      Paul P.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hmmm, if they keep shrinking the cars, I'd like to see a V-twin ecoboost.That would be a fun engine to mess with.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Justin Campanale
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd like to see us Americans get more choices in the A segment. I really hope, though, that they don't try to market it as a "prenium city car" like Scion did to the iQ and massively overpricing it.It really should be no more than $10 or $11k.
        Making11s
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        At first I thought the little Scion was a nice addition to American roads, but I was SHOCKED by the price of the iQ. Given the size, lack of expensive new technology and Scion badge, I figured it would be within spitting distance of the cheapest car in America. I mean, $16,000 for an iQ? Were they smoking rocks?
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        I totally agree -- small cars should be cheap unless they have some serious premium features (ie extreme mileage, performance, luxury).
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          Finally, you have deviated from your original claim that small should be cheap to one involving the prsrdigm of comfort. Modern small cars arent cramped or uncomfortable. But neither are they designed to carry five adults, a labrador, camping equipment and enough ammunition to kill a small town everywhere on either. Only someone without access or experience of modern small cars would draw your conclusions. Which is why I use the term "ignorance".
          The Wasp
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          @aatbloke That's one way to look at it. The wrong way, but a way nonetheless. You think Americans like a lot of "pig iron" in their vehicles. Some people do feel safer with large, heavy vehicles -- that is true. I suspect the same is true in Europe, though perhaps the availability and economics of large vehicles there just don't work. I think this desire is unfortunate, so I guess you might as well say that all Americans are opposed to large, heavy vehicles because that's how I, an American, feel. What's far more important to most Americans, though, is being able to fit at least a couple of people in the vehicle with reasonable comfort. You interpret this as the consumer wanting more metal -- I think it's more accurate to represent it as a desire for the car to feel larger inside than a phonebooth. I hate to go out making ridiculous claims because some people will think I'm being serious, but I suppose it would be amiss not to retort that if Americans first and foremost value the amount of metal in the vehicle, then Europeans value the Europeanness of a vehicle's brand above all else. It's not an exciting critique but I would caution it's at least as toxic.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          To get "extreme mileage" you need an "extreme engine" - such as the 1.2TDI used in VWs, for example. Only Americans equate cost with the amount of pig iron surrounding you - whether the product is decently built takes very much second place in many Americans' minds.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          Wasp ... unlike yourself, Im not an untravelled arrogant teenager. The European mindset has nothing to do with availability and everything to do with the cost of motoring. The American mindset is very much one of small should be cheap, and value is attached to it. By and large availability is a favtor there, as the small car market remains relatively small. As fuel futures comtinue to rise, the benefits of US subsidisation of petrol will become diluted, in a market with precious little advanced engine technology available to the general public to combat soaring costs. The safety argument is moot in reality, but a public coerced into thinking a D segment car is altogether safer than a B segment hatch is technically ignorant. If youre in a 50mph impact in a 5 series, you will almost certainly sustain fatal injuries. Your ultimate paragraph is pure unadulterated waffle because you obstensibly have no argument.
      Vinuuz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford already sells something below the fiesta in for eg. India - the Figo, but that is just an earlier generation Fiesta. It sells at about 70% of the Fiesta's price over there.
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Vinuuz
        I rented a Figo in Bahrain -- very decent little car.
          Vinuuz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @The Wasp
          It drives pretty well (like the fiesta already did), has good room for the segment. But the interiors are from 10 years back.
      pickles
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a seriously fantastic looking car. Makes the FIAT 500 look like an antique- which you could also say about everything else on the road. They'd never bring it to the US (the Ka doesn't come here.. and the 500 is the same platform) but it's truely beautiful.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @pickles
        Er ... the 500 is a deliberate retro design. Most concept cars make production cars look antiquated, even production cars spawned from the concept cars themselves.
      Rob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks decent. It is a lot nicer looking than the fiat and smart clown cars. If Ford can put in the 1.0 ecoboost and make it get around 36 mpg in the city and high 40'sfor fuel economy they would have a winner. Price needs to be about $1,500 to $1,800 less than a Fiesta though..The current Ka is not pretty at all. .
      Randy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Make it 8k and I'm sold
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy
        Build it in India from cardboard, and you might just be wandering to a Ford showroom then.
      William
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow...make a larger version, too.
      Eta Carinae
      • 2 Years Ago
      How small of a market will they be trynna to satisfy ?!? Geez might as well start making cars for smurfs ! Lol
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eta Carinae
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eta Carinae
        [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eta Carinae
        [blocked]
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