Hot, high-riding supermini cocks a wheel at the Nurburgring as Ford gears up to take on Hyundai's upcoming Kona N
1 November 2019

Ford is readying an ST performance version of its new Puma SUV, and our spy photographers have caught a prototype being put through its paces at the Nurburgring. 

The Hyundai Kona N rival has shed some camouflage since we last saw it, revealing that it will feature a trapezoidal lower grille design, large-diameter performance-inspired alloy wheels shod in low-profile tyres, and the same wing-mounted headlight clusters as the standard model.

prominent lower bodykit extends around the car from the splitter-style front bumper to a new rear bumper designed around a twin exhaust tailpipe - the same as that fitted to the Fiesta ST. 

Official details of the model's drivetrain and chassis set-up are still yet to be confirmed, but images of the prototype raising a rear wheel under hard cornering show it will feature a stiffer suspension set-up in the same vein as the Fiesta ST. The big wheels appear to hide larger-diameter front brakes, too, while the Puma seems lower to the ground than the stock model.

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Ford global development boss Hau Thai-Tang told Autocar earlier this year that the Puma “would be a good place for us to look” in expanding the ST range beyond the Fiesta and Focus in Europe. The Puma ST is expected to share its key running gear, including a 197bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine, with the Fiesta ST.

An ST version of the Puma (as rendered below by Autocar) is unlikely to vary drastically from the ST Line version of the car, which was revealed back in April. But we can expect a bespoke chassis set-up, possibly including an optional limited-slip differential, selectable drive modes and a launch control function.

Thai-Tang said Ford is keen to continue leveraging its Ford Performance arm for road car development, but the company would not simply look to create an ST version of each car. In addition to its two European hot hatches, Ford also makes ST versions of its Edge and Explorer large SUVs. 

“We look at creating STs by very objective measures to make sure it is credible as an ST,” said Thai-Tang. “Do we have the right building blocks [on which to base it]?” 

A new Focus RS is also understood to be in development, but it’s unlikely to appear before 2022, after the Focus’s mid-life update. 

“We have nothing to announce but we recognise the importance of that car,” said Thai-Tang. 

It is understood that hybrid power is one consideration for the Focus RS. “We’ll see where we go,” Ford’s automotive president Joe Hinrichs said. “The world is changing on powertrain and propulsion. No hints, but there’s a lot to talk through.”

Read more

New Ford Puma makes first UK appearance at Goodwood​

Opinion: Ford's new Puma is a fresh take on the SUV​

Ford Focus ST 2019 review​

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Comments
21

26 July 2019
Far too fat.

3 September 2019
Thekrankis wrote:

Far too fat.

 

Eat less, excercise more...

1 November 2019

It is perfectly phat.

26 July 2019

 More expected than a surprise?, yeah I think so, whether it’s good or not doesn’t wholly matter to some, as long as they are driving the latest hot SUV they’re happy.

26 July 2019

 To admit that I might be in an SUV next because the BMW 3-Series bass price has gone up two or three thousand so Motobility aren’t doing them, instead they are doing the X2, so Ford are doing an ST because that what the market wants I suppose....?

3 September 2019
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 To admit that I might be in an SUV next because the BMW 3-Series bass price has gone up two or three thousand so Motobility aren’t doing them, instead they are doing the X2, so Ford are doing an ST because that what the market wants I suppose....?

 

That you imagine anyone cares what you drive, suggests a focus on you by you, to the exclusion of everyone else. Oh btw, in this context base is base, NOT bass. MotAbility, not....

26 July 2019

was another Mondeo ST, or perhaps even an RS, perhaps sales wopuld have picked up if they had offered one, but the stopped making them years ago, I think the ST220 (Mk3) was the last. 

1 November 2019
Citytiger wrote:

was another Mondeo ST, or perhaps even an RS, perhaps sales wopuld have picked up if they had offered one, but the stopped making them years ago, I think the ST220 (Mk3) was the last. 

The ST220 was the last, technically.

But they did do a Titanium X Sport for a few years following that featuring the 2.5T Engine with the same tune as the Focus ST.

However as of 2011, they switched the 2.5T for a spiced up i4 - and so died the hot Mondeo.

1 November 2019
CarNut170 wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

was another Mondeo ST, or perhaps even an RS, perhaps sales wopuld have picked up if they had offered one, but the stopped making them years ago, I think the ST220 (Mk3) was the last. 

The ST220 was the last, technically.

But they did do a Titanium X Sport for a few years following that featuring the 2.5T Engine with the same tune as the Focus ST.

However as of 2011, they switched the 2.5T for a spiced up i4 - and so died the hot Mondeo.

Yeah I looked at that, even though the power was similar, it wasnt as smooth as the V6, and the build quality seemed to have taken a step back. 

26 July 2019

A very interesting and attractive prospect. Sort of all the car you might need cliche but true nevertheless. IMO might steal a lot of sales from the Focus ST. Unless you really need that bit more space the heavier more wasteful Focus seems pointless and the performance advantage negligible in the real world.

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