Ford has revealed a hot new ST version of its new Puma crossover, which brings numerous performance tweaks and a promise of being the best-driving small SUV around.
It’s the first time a Ford crossover has worn an ‘ST’ badge in the UK, and this sporty new Puma features the same underpinnings and engine as Ford’s highly praised Fiesta ST hot hatch.
That means it uses a 197bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox delivering its power to the front wheels. A 0-60mph time of 6.5 seconds is promised, along with a top speed of 137mph.
But it’s far from just a standard Puma with a big engine, with Ford making numerous adjustments to the way it drives. These include a steering setup that’s 25 per cent more responsive than the regular car, along with 17 per cent larger brakes. It’s also the only small crossover available with a mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD), which provides torque to the wheel with the most grip – reducing wheelspin and improving traction.
Design changes over the standard Puma include larger 19-inch alloy wheels plus a body kit that comprises more aggressive bumpers, a front splitter and a larger rear spoiler. A new Mean Green paint colour (pictured) is also available.
Cabin changes are more reserved, although the same Recaro sports seats found in the Fiesta ST are offered as standard here, along with a flat-bottomed steering wheel as well as ST scuff plates that run down the side of the doors.
Ford says the Puma ST continues to offer the most spaciousness in its class thanks to its 456-litre boot, along with an additional 80 litres of underfloor storage courtesy of a ‘MegaBox’.
According to Stefan Muenzinger, Ford Performance manager for Europe, the Puma ST will be the “best-handling small SUV in its segment”.
He said: “Real driving enthusiasts aren’t going to settle for less excitement just because life demands a more ‘sensible’ car, so our number-one priority was that the Puma ST had to be as exhilarating and capable as every ST model without sacrificing any of the Puma’s practicality.
“We believe that we have the best-handling small SUV in its segment. It really does feel connected and has the true ST feel. It is a joy to drive.”
Standard kit on the Puma ST includes a B&O sound system, wireless smartphone charging plus an eight-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation. Prices start from £28,495, with a Performance Pack that includes the LSD available for an extra £950. First customer deliveries are expected before the end of the year.Enquire on a new Ford Puma