The Ford Puma was a lovely little coupé that Ford produced between 1997 and 2002. It was actually built over in Cologne, Germany, and it quickly developed a following thanks to its extremely lightweight structure (1,039 kilograms) and rev-happy engines. The pick of the bunch was the 1.7 litre model with 153 horsepower. It might not seem like much but it was enough to get the agile little sports car from 0-60 in 7.9 seconds, which was on par with hot hatches of the time.
Despite a pretty good sales record, the model was ditched as Ford focussed their efforts on their hatchbacks, however, the cult status lived on and to this day you’ll find countless events up and down the country where owners race their beloved Pumas.
Now though, times have changed. Ford announced that the Puma nametag wouldl be making a return to their model lineup, but not as a sports car, instead, as a small crossover with bold SUV exterior styling. While the old model offered raw, unfiltered pleasures, this new car boasts some extremely advanced technology to make day to day driving as effortless as possible.
The new Puma comes with features such as adaptive cruise control, where the car will break from it’s cruising speed when a car pulls in front, then accelerate back up to pace once the road is clear. The Puma uses an extremely advanced 1.0-litre Ecoboosted mild hybrid engine that will improve performance, economy and the Puma’s playful character. This unit will push out 153 horsepower, which is interesting the same power as the top-performing coupe did twenty years ago.
There is a 125 PS model available which will be the most economical model on sale upon introduction. This also uses a 1.0-litre mild hybrid engine and should reliably return up to a claimed 52 mpg on the combined cycle.
Inside, the Puma is purpose-built for family use. Accordingly, the boot is absolutely massive. A whole 456 litres of luggage capacity is on offer with the rear row of seats in place, and from photos, it appears that the roofline of the boot will be dog-friendly. In fact, Ford has stated that the intuitive flexibility of the rear luggage space will make the Puma best-in-class for uncompromised load space. The Puma will also be the first car in its class to offer an electrically operated tailgate - even better for dog owners!
The first new Pumas have rolled off the production line at Ford’s Craiova Assembly Plant, Romania. The high spec First Edition models will be exclusively offered for delivery from January, and the full range will be available to order from early next year. The Titanium model is priced from £20,845, and the Titanium First Edition from £22,295 this features exclusive exterior and interior details. Puma First Editions are also available in ST-Line X trims from £25,195, and ST-Line X First Edition Plus is available to order from £27,345 with 1.0l EcoBoost Hybrid 155PS, adding a panoramic roof and 19” alloy wheels.