This shadowy teaser image is our first official look at the upcoming Ford Puma ST. The firm’s hopped-up compact crossover should go on sale in the UK later this year, government travel restrictions permitting, where it will rival the Audi SQ2 and forthcoming Hyundai Kona N.
Alongside this first image, a teaser clip posted on social media confirms our suspicions on the Puma ST’s powertrain. The video’s engine track sounds identical to that of the Fiesta ST. The crossover shares its platform with the sporty supermini, so power will come courtesy of the latter car’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, giving the Puma an output of 197bhp and 290Nm of torque.
Like the Fiesta ST, drive will be sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. However, the Puma’s extra weight relative to its supermini stablemate means it’ll lag slightly behind the Fiesta ST’s 6.5-second 0–62mph time.
Chassis upgrades over the standard Puma should be extensive, with revisions including lowered suspension, stiffer springs and larger disc brakes for the front axle. A mechanical limited-slip differential and launch control should also both be offered as optional extras, along with a shift light prompt for the dashboard.
Ford’s teaser video also confirms a few details about the Puma ST’s specification. Buyers will get a set of gun-metal grey ST alloy wheels, an aggressive body-kit, a larger rear wing, a choice of lairy paint finishes and a smattering of ST badges. Our previously spied mules also suggest the production model will receive a new twin-exit exhaust.
The standard Puma’s cabin is generously equipped, featuring a 12.3-inch customisable digital instrument panel, Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system complete with eight-inch touchscreen, and a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound system. However, buyers will receive a fresh set of Recaro sports seats and an ST-branded sports steering wheel.
As it stands, the Puma will have very few rivals when it hits showrooms. With a replacement for the Nissan Juke Nismo RS looking unlikely, there are currently no outwardly sporty compact crossovers on the market. However, the Puma ST is likely to face stiff opposition from Hyundai; the Korean firm is readying a high-performance Kona N which could utilise a powertrain from the incoming i20 N hot hatch.
The current flagship Puma, the ST-Line X First Edition Plus, costs £27,345 and features a 1.0-litre mild-hybrid engine developing 153bhp. It’s possible that the base Puma ST could feature less in the way of standard technology and driver convenience equipment than this model, while introducing the more powerful 1.5-litre engine and various chassis upgrades in their place, meaning a similar price tag around the £27,000 mark seems likely.
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