We get it - not all of you are going to be enamoured by the idea of another sporty crossover. The equivalent hatchback or saloon will be lower, lighter and sharper, so why compromise for an often marginal increase in practicality?
We’re going to stick our neck out, though, and say that the Ford Puma ST will be a little different to the rest of the pack. The standard version has had plenty of praise heaped on it for its handling, and that’s thanks in large part to the car being not much taller or heavier than the Fiesta it’s based on. And if that’s what the standard version is related to, you’ve probably worked out by now that Ford‘s hotter one is essentially a lifted Fiesta ST.
The god-like, lift-off oversteer-happy handling genius of the Fiesta ST’s chassis should make the Puma ST an absolute riot. But that’s only part of the story - it’ll also be adopting a seriously impressive powerplant.
It’s a turbocharged inline-three, and although we often moan about this typically lethargic engine configuration, the ST’s 1.5 is a little different. It’s eager to rev, punchy as hell, and makes a brilliantly throaty noise. Judging by this footage of these Puma ST prototypes captured at the Nurburgring, it’ll be just as rowdy in the crossover.
In the video from Automotive Mike, the cars blast by the camera with increasing vigour, giving us a particularly decent taste of the Puma ST’s soundtrack at the two-minute mark. What you’re hearing is 197bhp and 214lb ft of torque being extracted from just a litre and a half of engine.
Hopefully, the hot Puma will get the same unusual banana-shaped ‘directionally-wound’ rear springs as its Fiesta cousin. We’re also expecting there to be a Performance Pack on the options menu, which will provide a Quaife ATB differential and a launch control system.
It’s expected to weigh in around £30,000 when it’s launched later this year or early next and will go toe-to-toe with Hyundai’s incoming Kona N.