Since Ford introduced the Puma at the start of 2020, it’s proven to be a big hit with buyers and is already one of the UK’s most popular new cars.
It has scooped high-profile awards, and is one of the best cars in its class thanks to a combination of efficient powertrains, practicality and a fun driving experience.
And it’s the latter attribute that lends itself perfectly for Ford to create an even hotter Puma, which is what it’s done with a new ST model.
Set to arrive in November, here are five things you need to know about it.
It gets the same engine as the Fiesta ST
The Fiesta ST is widely considered to be one of the best hot hatchbacks on sale today, and it therefore serves as a perfect base for this new Puma, which it shares plenty in common with, not least its engine.
So the Puma borrows the Fiesta’s turbocharged 1.5-litre unit producing 197bhp and 320Nm of torque, which means it can sprint to 60mph in 6.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 137mph. It’ll also use that car’s six-speed manual gearbox.
It’s the first sporty Ford SUV to be sold in Europe
Despite Ford’s crossovers and SUVs being a hit for the brand, until now buyers have not been able to get an ST version.
So, as a result, the new Puma ST becomes Ford’s first performance SUV to be sold in Europe. But don’t think that it’s just a standard Puma with a bigger engine, because it really isn’t. Ford has made a host of performance tweaks to the model, including changes to the suspension and brakes to name but a few edits.
Ford promises it’ll be the most fun crossover on sale
It’s a known fact that crossovers are never normally as good to drive as their hatchback counterparts, with their additional ride height meaning they often lose out on agility.
So Ford is trying hard to make sure that such issues don’t affect the Puma and has made the bold claim that the Puma ST will be the best car to drive in its segment. It helps that it's the only small SUV to be sold with a limited-slip differential, which distributes torque to the wheel with the most grip to maximise traction.
It looks the part
Even standard Puma models look fantastic, so it’s no surprise that ST models look even better with their performance styling.
Revisions include a new front splitter, large 19-inch alloy wheels and a bigger rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics. You also get a brilliant new colour known as Mean Green, which adds extra visual flair to the Puma.
Interior tweaks include new Recaro sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
It remains just as practical as the standard Puma
You might expect all these performance features to make the Puma ST less practical than the standard version. However, that’s far from the case with Ford promising that its roomy interior – one of its best assets – is ‘uncompromised’.
That means you still get a large 456-litre boot, along with the firm’s clever ‘MegaBox’ system, which gives you an 80-litre storage space beneath the boot floor. It means you can fit in a set of golf clubs upright in the boot.
The Ford Puma ST is set to arrive in the UK in November, with prices starting from £28,495.Enquire on a new Ford Puma