The Ford Puma was revealed last year as a compact crossover based on the B2E platform (also used by the Fiesta, EcoSport and Figo) with a bit of a sporty touch. Building on this characteristic is a new ST derivative which brings bold styling, more power and improved dynamics to the quirky crossover.
At the helm of the Puma ST sits the turbo-triple 1,5-litre EcoBoost engine as seen in the Fiesta ST. Featuring advanced turbocharging, high-pressure fuel injection and twin-independent variable cam timing, it sends 147 kW at 6 000 r/min and 320 N.m of torque, from 2 500 to 3 500 r/min, to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox with a shortened final drive ratio. With this, the Puma ST is able to complete a 0-100 km/h stint in 6,7 seconds and hit a top speed of 220 km/h.
Adding a mischievous character to the Puma ST is a bespoke air-intake and free-flow exhaust system that has been set to be one decibel quieter than the Fiesta ST. Also, sourced from the hot hatch, is a cylinder deactivation system which cuts power to one piston under low speed driving. The cylinder can re-engage in 14 milliseconds when its services are needed again.
Although a crossover, Ford has placed a lot of focus on dynamics. Making it proficient through tight corners, the Puma ST has been given a Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential, should the performance pack box be ticked. This works together with a torque vectoring control which reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inner wheel.
Adding rigidity to the Puma ST’s suspension and counterbalancing the higher centre of gravity is an uprated rear twist beam that’s 40 per cent stiffer than the Fiesta ST’s. A 28 mm rear and 24 mm front anti-roll bar improves on cornering stability. Grip is further enhanced by a set of unique Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres mated to the 19-inch alloy wheels.
Setting the Puma ST apart from the base trim, visually, is a number of sporty cues throughout the interior and exterior. The front bumper houses signature upper and lower grilles and a splitter which increases downforce by 80 per cent. A rear spoiler and diffuser further optimise aerodynamics. A contrasting gloss black roof, sporty grille surrounds, side skirts and door mirror caps enhance the Puma ST’s performance persona.
Within the cabin, a set of heated Recaro sports seats finished in Miko Dinamica is found together with Ford Performance skid plates, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel and an ST-branded gear knob.