The new Ford Puma ST on the way to Ireland before the end of the year!
The new Ford Puma ST on the way to Ireland before the end of the year!

Ford Ireland has released more details of the new Ford Puma ST, the brand’s new high performance compact SUV.

The new Puma ST is expected here before the end of 2020 and will be powered by a 1.5-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol engine with 200 hp. and 320 Nm of torque available. First introduced for the latest Ford Fiesta ST, the engine features advanced turbocharging and high-pressure fuel injection technologies alongside Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing.

Active exhaust valve technology amplifies the naturally sporty three-cylinder engine sound to enhance the driving experience. Ford Performance tuned the exhaust note to better suit the Puma ST’s more refined SUV character – the model is approximately one decibel quieter than the Fiesta ST.

The engine also includes Ford’s cylinder deactivation technology to improve fuel efficiency. Figures given are an anticipated 6.9 l/100 km fuel consumption and 155 g/km CO2 (WLTP).

The Puma ST will be offered with the same six-speed manual transmission as the Fiesta ST, with a shortened final drive ratio to enable 6.7-second 0-100 km/h acceleration and a 220 km/h top speed.

An optimised chassis features bespoke twist-beam, anti-roll bar and damper configurations. Steering responses are 25 per cent faster and brakes 17 per cent larger than the standard Puma.

There will also be a unique-in-segment limited-slip differential (LSD) option and patented force vectoring springs. Puma ST also features selectable Drive Modes including Sport mode and – for the first time on a Ford Performance vehicle – Eco mode; providing drivers with options for a wide range of road driving scenarios.

The interior of the new Puma ST
The interior of the new Puma ST

Ford Performance worked alongside Michelin to develop a bespoke tyre specification to complement the Puma ST’s enhanced chassis, without sacrificing ride quality. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres help deliver the most agile Ford SUV driving experience yet.

The Puma ST is the only small performance SUV in Europe to be offered with an LSD, which optimises front-end traction to enhance cornering ability and minimise understeer, in particular on the exit of corners. The purely mechanical system distributes engine torque to the wheel with the most grip, reducing wheel spin and allowing the driver to fully exploit the engine performance. Available as part of a performance pack, the LSD works alongside Torque Vectoring Control, which improves road-holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering. The balance between the two features has been fine-tuned by Ford Performance to optimise grip on dry surfaces and smoothness on wet surfaces.

Braking performance is also optimised. Front discs are increased by 17 per cent in diameter compared with the standard Puma specification to 325mm, and 271mm discs feature at the rear.

Selectable Drive Modes include a Track mode, Eco mode, Normal mode, and of course Sport mode. Launch Control is available as part of the performance pack.

Design modifications include a Ford Performance-embossed splitter integrated into the front bumper to increase front end downforce by almost 80 per cent for greater stability and traction. The large rear roof spoiler also supports optimised aerodynamics, with a distinctive diffuser incorporated into the rear bumper. Signature ST upper and lower grilles are designed to deliver increased engine cooling capability.

The Puma ST offers Magnetite or machined metal finishes for the standard 19-inch alloy wheels, and six available exterior body colours include Agate Black, Desert Island Blue, Fantastic Red, Frozen White, Magnetic and the new ST-exclusive Mean Green. A gloss black finish for the roof, grille surrounds, side spears, door mirror caps and rear roof spoiler are all standard.

Inside,there are bolstered Recaro sports seats embossed with the ST logo, Ford Performance skid plates, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel and ST gear knob.

The new Ford Puma ST will be powered by a 1.5-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol engine
The new Ford Puma ST will be powered by a 1.5-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol engine

Standard features will include a wireless charging pad, Quickclear heated windscreen, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility, and a premium B&O sound system.

“Real driving enthusiasts aren’t going to settle for less excitement just because life demands a more ‘sensible’ car, so our number one priority was that the Puma ST had to be as exhilarating and capable as every ST model, without sacrificing any of Puma’s practicality,” said Stefan Muenzinger, Ford Performance manager, Europe. “We believe that we have the best-handling small SUV in its segment. It really does feel connected and has the true ST feel. It is a joy to drive.”