Pink Piranha – 2009 Ford Ka Individual

You hate it. I hate it. But I’m sure the owner of this three-year old Ford Ka must be madly in love with it. Let me conjure a stereotypical image here: You remember the “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays” character in Office Space, the annoyingly cheery person in the next cubicle who manages to make the first Monday of the week just a little bit worse? I’m 99,9% certain there’s our pink Ford Ka driver right there.

I mentioned how the electric blue 1979 El Camino shot on the other side of the concrete building on the background stood out nicely in the sea of sombre grey cars. It does, but it’s nothing compared to a Technicolor salmon coloured little Ford with chalk-coloured inserts. It’s like someone playing Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger on repeat when all you can really take is an ambient Brian Eno album played at whisper level.

The present-generation Ka is based on the same floorpan structure and made in the same Polish town as the Fiat 500. And there’s a key difference there: while the 500 is also annoyingly cutesy, it sits on the acceptable side of the annoying fence. The 500 also exudes the kind of reasonable Italian cool; “Hey, it’s made to look cute but it’s justifiedly ancient.” It’s a hat tip to times gone by, and in my mind it works better than various Beetles or Minis have done.

But the Ka? It’s a Pokemon. It’s a fish. It’s made up to look like it has little teeth on the bumper grille. The colour scheme here is part of the Ford Individual package, which enables you to doll up your shopping cart in various ways, some of which look like a Nike colour scheme to fit your training suit. You know, for urban achievers.

The powerplant on the Ka, for convenience reasons, is a Fiat FIRE (Fully Integrated Robotized Engine, hell yeah) unit of 1.2 litres – straight from the 500. It’s named Duratec to fit the rest of the Ford range, but all of the Ka engines are Fiat under the badging. It’s got 69 horses, but by the looks of things I’m convinced those are seahorses.

Inside and outside, there are a bunch of shiny pieces of flair that are shrinking violets next to the pink-and-white seat cloth.

So, yeah. Whenever I bump into an unbearably squeakily cheery person, I think in my head that someone has to bear him/her almost 24/7 and the instance of myself rubbing shoulders with them is merely temporary.

It’s the same with this Ka; someone has to deal with it on a daily basis.


[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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