The Puma ST-Line gives a very close idea of what the Puma ST could look like
The new Ford Puma is confirmed for a December 2019 launch in Europe, and that means there are plenty of rumors about a performance-oriented ST version. Ford hasn’t confirmed anything yet, but some spy shots of a camouflaged Puma spotted testing on the Nürburgring in late October 2019 seem to indicate that one is on the way. There’s already a confirmed Puma ST-line, which is a dressed-up version that has sporty looks but no performance upgrades, similar to the Fiesta ST-line that we had in America.
Here in the United States, enthusiasts are sad over the loss of the Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Sure, the Edge ST and Explorer ST are fantastic crossovers that offer a lot of straight-line performance. But they don’t quite cut it when it comes to cornering ability and fun driving through the curves, nor do they offer a manual transmission.
It would be easy to dismiss the Puma ST as just another crossover, but keep in mind that it rides on the same platform as the new Fiesta. And while it’s a bit longer than the subcompact crossover Ford EcoSport that we get in America, it’s also nearly five inches shorter. So while it’s not related to the sporty Puma coupe that Ford produced in Europe in the late ‘90s, it should still be a compact and fun-to-drive small car.
What’s that we see in this photo? A little bit of three-wheeling action? Like the Fiesta ST, it looks like the Puma ST might be able to get some rear wheel lift in stock form. Although Ford’s hot hatchbacks may never return to the United States, perhaps we can take solace in having a pint-sized sporty crossover that’s nearly as much fun to autocross.
The Puma in its base configuration offers a lot of tech for the money, including Ford’s Co-Pilot360 safety suite. You’ll also find an exclusive waterproof, under-trunk MegaBox storage area, which features a drain plug so that it can be rinsed out. The passenger and cargo configuration is impressively designed and practical for how small the vehicle is. There are also selectable drive modes and an optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Ford Puma ST Engine
The Puma ST-Line features a sporty yet practical interior; for all trims, a six-speed manual is currently the only transmission
The regular Ford Puma will come with the current 1.0-liter mild-hybrid turbocharged EcoBoost three-cylinder, a great engine for around-town work, but hardly performance-focused. It can be had with either 123 or 153 horsepower, in front-wheel-drive form. For now, the only transmission available is a six-speed manual.
The Puma ST, on the other hand, is rumored to be a shoo-in to get the current European Fiesta ST’s turbocharged 1.5 liter EcoBoost three-cylinder. In the Fiesta ST, that’s good for 197 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. That’s not bad for a small car, sending it from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. We would expect to see fairly similar numbers in the Puma ST. We expect the Puma ST to keep the stick shift as its only option, even if an automatic is available for other trims later (which is the current plan).
Below you’ll find the confirmed colors for the 2020 Puma in the United Kingdom. There might be one or two exclusive shades on the way for the ST trim, such as Ford Performance Blue.
2020 Ford Puma Exterior Colors (UK)
- Blazer Blue
- Race Red
- Frozen White
- Agate Black
- Solar Silver
- Desert Island Blue
- Metropolis White
- Lucid Red
- Grey Matter
Ford Puma ST: Coming to America?
Could the Puma eventually make its way to the U.S.A. to replace the EcoSport?
Ford’s current subcompact crossover offering in the U.S. is the EcoSport, which is very unlikely to ever see an ST version. However, the EcoSport is also somewhat dated. Though it was first offered in the U.S. in 2018, the current model has been around globally since 2013. Most reviewers have noted this, and overall reception to the vehicle has been mostly tepid. This means that we could be due for a replacement, which would hopefully be the new Puma.
Even if we do receive the Puma to fill the subcompact crossover slot, there are certainly no guarantees that we would receive a sporty ST version as well. With Ford ceasing sales of all non-Mustang small cars in the United States, their focus is really on crossovers and trucks. Though the Puma is a crossover, it’s a small one, so it’s tough to tell if we would be graced with an ST version.
Stay tuned to CJ Pony Parts as we provide updates on the new Puma ST as more information is released!
Sources: Ford | Ford Authority | CarBuyer UK | Car and Driver
Image Credit: Ford | Ford Authority