Will the new Ford Puma ST be a three-wheeling mini SUV for families?
It's green and packs all the handling tricks used to make the Fiesta ST such a laugh
Ford has just unveiled the Puma ST – a 200hp version of the new-for-2020 small family SUV. And it's very, very green.
Watch the video below for a full low-down on this hot-hatch-cum-SUV (including some exhaust noise and amateur shadow puppetry), or read on to find out more with your reading eyes.
What powers the Puma ST?
The Puma ST uses the same all-aluminium 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine as the Fiesta ST, with 200hp. Torque is up from 280Nm in the Fiesta to 320Nm, and the Puma ST will get from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds. The engine can now deactivate a cylinder (in just 14ms) to turn into an efficient two-cylinder unit when you're cruising. You can also get it with launch control.
Will it handle well?
If you've ever driven a modern Fiesta ST you'll have loved the handling, and the good news it that the Puma ST gets much the same setup as the beloved Mk8 Fiesta ST. An optional Quaife limited-slip differential can sit between the Puma's front wheels to haul you out of corners, and the rear suspension springs are bent in the same way as those on the Fiesta ST to help improve lateral stiffness at the rear (read: it'll probably go around corners on three wheels with you giggling).
Power goes to the road via specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, and there are 17% bigger brake discs up front to help you stop.
The steering's been thoroughly redesigned over the standard Puma, and you get a 25% faster action thanks to a new front knuckle, a shorter steering arm and a faster rack. Apparently the steering gives a greater mechanical connection to the road as well.
The Puma ST's driving modes include a track mode which disables the traction control, while the stability control can (apparently) be switched off completely for lift-off oversteer fun.
Inside, the Puma ST nicks the Fiesta ST's wonderful cloth Recaro sports seats, and it gets a shorter gearshift over the regular Puma as well. The Puma's digital dash remains (something you can't get in a Fiesta ST), and there are a few ST badges dotted about for good measure. I forgot to take photographs of the interior, so skip to 5:52 in the video above for a very dark glimpse of it.
Is it practical?
The Puma ST should be reasonably practical – it retains the same 456-litre boot and you still get a waterproof Megabox under the boot floor, which can swallow 80 litres of gin or… stuff.
How much will it cost?
Rumours suggest that the Ford Puma ST will cost from about £28,000 when it goes on sale in late 2020. The standard Ford Puma put a grin on our faces when we drove it back in a previous, pre-Covid life in January. Read our full Ford Puma review here.