Strengthening their range of performance models, Ford has announced its release of a brand new Ford Puma ST. Not only does this bring a new sense of power to the Puma, but it marks Ford’s first European-market foray into a dedicated performance SUV.
Significantly different from the standard Ford Puma, the new Puma ST offers more power and enhanced performance, for a fresh sense of fun behind the wheel.
The new Ford Puma ST comes with the same 1.5-litre turbocharged engine used in the Fiesta ST. But, while the power output remains unchanged at 197hbp, torque is up from 214lb ft to 236lb ft for better linear acceleration. So despite the Puma being significantly heavier than the Fiesta, it is capable of the same impressive 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds.
Plus just like in the Fiesta ST, the all-aluminium engine of this sportier Puma sends power to the front axle via a six-speed manual gearbox.
As there is far more to creating a dynamic performance model than slapping in a big engine, the new Puma ST also comes equipped with upgrades and alterations to enhance every aspect of your ride.
It gains a mechanical limited-slip differential which works alongside a torque vectoring system to minimise understeer and maximise grip; a system Ford claims as a first for the hot crossover segment. In addition, the twin-independent variable cam timing and roll-restricting engine mounts help to improve both refinement and cornering performance.
Further dynamic upgrades include force vectoring springs which improve lateral stiffness to the rear, as well as a rear twist beam that is 50 per cent stiffer than on the standard Puma model. On top of that, is the added stability of anti-roll bars at both ends.
An uprated steering system offers nearly 25 per cent quicker than the standard Puma, giving you the ability to control all the additional power. Meanwhile, the front brake discs are 17 per cent larger to significantly improve stopping distances.
Despite being performance-focused, Ford has ensured the Ford Puma ST offers good daily driving capabilities. For instance, the cylinder deactivation functionality can shut down an unneeded cylinder in as little as 14 milliseconds to help conserve fuel when coasting or cruising.
Meanwhile, for enhanced on-road refinement, Ford uses active exhaust valve technology tuning to reduce cabin noise when cruising.
Different driving modes also enable you to select the right setting for your driving need. The Normal, Eco and Sport driving modes carry over from the normal Puma, but the ST version also gains a gutsier Track mode. This more potent driving mode disables traction control and minimises intervention from the stability control while also offering enhanced tuning for better lap times and purer driving experience.
The option of an additional performance pack brings you a launch control function, which not only improves response off the line, but also features a dedicated graphical display in the instrument cluster.
Taking its cues from the existing models in the ST range, the Puma ST features subtle visual clues about its enhanced performance aspirations. A brand new front splitter is said to help improve front-end downforce by almost 80 per cent while also bearing the branding of the Ford Performance division. Underneath a revised lower grille helps to improve cooling.
Meanwhile at the rear, the Puma ST features a new colour-contrasting diffuser which houses twin tailpipes. With the full package rounded off with distinctive 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S performance tyres.
For further distinction, the new Puma ST is available in a model-exclusive Mean Green shade, with the roof, grille, side trims, wing mirror and roof spoilers coming in a gloss black finish as standard.
Similarly, the interior of the new Ford Puma ST benefits from simple yet effective styling tweaks which create a heightened sense of distinction. ST-branded Recaro seats up front ensure a sportier feel as soon as you step inside. Meanwhile, a bespoke treadplate, a flat bottomed steering wheel and an ST marked gear knob help to distinguish the model.
Equipment remains good with the likes of a wireless phone charger, a heated windscreen, front and rear parking sensors and smartphone mirroring as standard.
Plus a real boost to day-to-day usability, Ford ensures the rear suspension system has not impacted Puma’s trademark Megabox storage system which offers 80-litres of hidden space under the boot floor.
The new Ford Puma ST is Ford’s fourth model to join Ford’s European ST range. It will join existing performance models their Ford Focus Hatch ST, Ford Focus Estate ST and the Ford Fiesta ST. All of which already have an established following being well-loved for the sportier feel behind the wheel.
The brand new Ford Puma ST is available to order now. So if you want to experience the full thrills of this potent new Puma model get in touch with your local Stoneacre Ford showroom and register your interest.
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