The Ford Puma ST will be the perfect hot hatch...On stilts

First of all

I've been surprised lately by how many units of the new Ford Puma I got to see on the road since the first one a few months ago. In Red, blue, grey, white... I'm now seeing them pretty much anywhere, which is, of course, a good thing! With the Puma, Ford has made a proper effort at making it as look cool and trendy as possible. And indeed, with the headlight design of the GT supercar, the bold shoulder lines across the side, and the "squirting" intention back end, it does get the prize for an actually good looking crossover.

Now, I will accept the interior design is a bit boring as it's been lifted straight out of the Fiesta, but it is still a user-friendly, well-built interior which everyone could live with every day. The same interior is also a good place for carrying a few people in more than acceptable comfort thanks to the moderately swooped roofline and surprising space in the back. And once again, as journalists will have made clear, don't forget the bottom boot compartment in which you can stick your sandy feet, fill up with water and when you've finished washing, simply empty the compartment and water will come straight out leaving your children and you with sand-free feet as they climb back in the car.

Finally, the engine options are relatively punchy yet economical with Hybrid versions going up to 155 bhp while maintaining more than 40 mpg combined, a more than reasonable score.

Now though, it's time to get sporty...

So the Puma is a good looking, practical, well thought out, and economical car, making it tick every one of the hot hatch credentials. And of course, because this is a cool Ford, it couldn't get away without a hotter ST version. The official reveal of the new version will take place on September the 24th but in the meantime, here is what we can expect: The engine will probably be the same fizzy 1.5 turbocharged you get in the Fiesta probably developing a little over 200 hp and 300 Nm of torque. When it comes to a 0 to 60 time, let's set our bets on under seven seconds and when it comes to handling, the standard Puma is already a well-sorted car sitting on top of a tightened chassis coupled with communicative steering.

The Puma ST then could very much be what we give the description of a hot hatch. It's a good looking, practical car you can use every day while offering more fun driving it to the shops than your average hatchback. In fact, the Puma is part of a new breed of the hot hatch. As I write, we now have pretty much any car we want on stilts. Whether that's a family car for the school run, a luxury maximum capacity vehicle or a jacked-up supercar, the SUV world will provide all those requests. And now, here is the successor to the Hot Hatch: The Hot Cross.

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