The Ford Puma ST is being launched on September 24, and we’re actually pretty excited for it - even if it is yet another small crossover thing. It’s powered by the 197bhp 1.5-litre inline-three as the Fiesta ST (a notably brilliant engine) and the standard Puma drives pretty well, before any sprinkling of magic from the Ford Performance racing division.
Ford’s latest teaser video focuses on some of the car’s engineers and designers, who have been tasked to recreate the sound of the Puma ST experience. It’s novel, but we’d rather just see a bit more of the car, thanks. Nevertheless, make it all the way through the video and you’ll hear the car’s throaty exhaust note, and see a couple of details that were hinted in these spy shots.
The video also shows a vibrant green colour, which will be exclusive to the Puma ST. It looks nice, although this writer’s choice will always be Ford Performance Blue that should be coming later. Other ST-specific styling details include bigger alloy wheels, finished in grey, a sportier body kit and the standard handful of ST badges.
Under the skin the ST gets lower suspension than the standard model, and you’ll get much larger disc brakes too. We expect a Performance Pack, like the one on the Fiesta ST, to be available with a limited-slip diff, a gearshift indicator light and launch control. Inside, you’ll sit in Recaro bucket seats behind a digital instrument cluster and lovely red stitching.
Without a second Nissan Juke Nismo RS on the horizon, the car’s only real rival will be the forthcoming Hyundai Kona N. Although with VW seemingly putting an R badge on all its SUVs, a T-Cross R may not be out of the question.
Prices will start from around £27,000, or about the same as a top-spec Puma with the most powerful mild-hybrid engine. While that’s a good chunk more than the Fiesta ST, the Puma ST offers physically more car - there’s more kit on board, and the boot is far bigger (even without the extra 80-litre washable compartment underneath). It’s arguably more practical than the bigger Ford Focus ST hatch, which starts the wrong side of £30,000.