Ford of Europe has released photos of its redesigned entry-level Ka model, developed and built with Fiat, and set for unveiling at the Paris motor show in October.

Not to be confused with Ford Brazil's recent in-house redesign of the 12-year-old original, itself unveiled at Paris in 1996, the update for Europe "brings new levels of style and enjoyment to affordable city cars", according to the automaker.

The Ford designed and built original car, er, Ka, was little changed over its lifespan - three times the norm for Japanese models and about twice the model life of a European car. The original 1.3-litre overhead valve engine was replaced by more modern 1.3- and 1.6-litre OHC units in 2003 and there were detail trim and equipment changes and numerous 'special editions' over the years. It was never offered with any type of automatic transmission.

Total 'original' Ka production, mostly in Spain, has exceeded 1.4m vehicles.

Ford has not released mechanical details but the new Ka shares its platform and mechanicals with Fiat's new 500 and is built in a joint venture plant in Poland (120,000 a year) so will have a choice of small petrol and diesel engines and possibly a turbocharged twin-cylinder 900cc unit in some markets.

Some Fiat components are used in the interior and the dash-mounted gear lever is also a current feature of Fiat small cars.

Ford spends EUR94m to build new Ka in Poland