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2020 Ford Puma ST performance SUV breaks cover

New Ford Puma ST has 197bhp and sprints from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds

  • Shares 197bhp petrol engine with the Fiesta ST
  • Capable of 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds
  • Sporty styling tweaks

After months of teaser pictures and prototype sightings, the new 2020 Ford Puma ST has been unveiled. It’s powered by the same 197bhp Ford EcoBoost engine as the Fiesta ST and is capable of 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds. The new flagship Puma will go on sale in early 2021 with a starting price of £28,495.

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The Puma ST will have few direct rivals when it arrives but is essentially a more practical alternative to the Fiesta ST and other small performance models such as the Suzuki Swift Sport and Volkswagen Polo GTI.

2020 Ford Puma ST - styling

At the front, the Puma ST gets a special front splitter that’s claimed to increase the car’s downforce by nearly 80% for improved handling. There’s also a new bumper and air intakes, plus a gloss black honeycomb grille.

Other ST-specific styling touches include a black roof panel, door mirror caps, side trim and rear tailgate badging. The rear spoiler, also added to aid the car’s aerodynamics, is also black. A twin exhaust with chrome tips and a rear diffuser also feature, along with 19-inch alloy wheels and red brake calipers.

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Buyers will be able to choose one of six paint colours, namely Agate Black, Desert Island Blue, Fantastic Red, Frozen White, Magnetic and ‘Mean Green,’ which is exclusive to the Puma ST.

Interior, equipment and practicality

Inside, the flagship Puma gets the same subtle tweaks as Ford’s other ST models, with sporty Recaro seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a unique gear knob, and ‘Ford Performance’ branded skid plates.

The Puma ST carries over all of the the interior tech from the standard car, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system running Ford’s SYNC 3 software, sat nav, Apple Carplay and Android Auto. A B&O Play stereo system is available as an option.

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Safety features include automatic emergency braking, active parking assistance with front and rear parking sensors, cross traffic alert with active braking and adaptive cruise control. Owners will also be able to access remote features via the FordPass connect app, which can unlock or lock the doors and show the location of the car.

Practicality is unchanged from the standard Puma, with 456 litres of luggage space, and an additional 80-litre ‘Mega Box’ storage compartment in the boot floor.

Engine, chassis and performance

The Puma ST is powered by the same 197bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine as the Fiesta ST. Power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, with 0-62mph taking 6.7 seconds - 0.2 seconds slower than the Fiesta. Top speed is 137mph.

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Other performance upgrades over the standard Puma include larger front brake discs, a lower ride height and a tweaked version of Ford’s ‘force-vectoring’ suspension setup. The steering has also been changed and is 25% quicker than the standard car, with Ford claiming that all of the changes combine to make the Puma ST the best handling small SUV in its class.

An optional performance pack adds a mechanical limited-slip differential that helps to improve traction and grip in the corners, and grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres that were specially developed for the car.

A launch control system also features, along with switchable driving modes. Eco and Normal mode are for normal driving, with Sport setting making the exhaust louder while sharpening the steering and throttle response. The Track setting is recommended for use on a circuit, with minimal intervention from the traction and stability systems.

While fuel economy is usually an afterthought in a performance car, the Puma ST does feature cylinder shutdown technology, meaning it can run using only two-cylinders. According to Ford, the Puma ST can manage fuel economy of up to 40.9mpg and emissions of 155g/km under the stricter WLTP test.

Do you want to know more about the Ford Puma? Read our in-depth reveal for everything you need to know.

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