Ford has unveiled its latest car, reviving the Puma name badge from the 90s for a new addition to its crossover family.
Unlike the original two-door mini coupe, the all-new Ford Puma is an “SUV-inspired” compact crossover. But like the original Puma, it shares its platform with the brand’s ubiquitous Fiesta.
Ford already makes a Fiesta-based crossover – the crushingly dull Ecosport – but the Puma is positioned as a more stylish, practical and technologically advanced model that sits somewhere between the Fiesta and larger Focus.
Ford calls the Puma’s styling sporty, seductive and sensual, with an “anti-wedge” silhouette that bucks the current crossover trend. A cruel person might suggest it looks more like an over-inflated Fiesta balloon but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The “interesting” body sits atop Ford’s B-car platform, raised up above the standard Fiesta to give a more “confidence-inspiring” driving position and longer and wider than the supermini as well to enhance its crossover appearance.
Under the skin, the Puma is among the first Ford models to get Ford’s new 48V mild hybrid system.
The brand’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine is supplemented with an electric motor integrated into the starter system which offers additional torque depending on the driving requirements.
The Puma will come with 124bhp and 153bhp versions of the engine, with the hybrid system offering an estimated nine per cent improvement in economy over the regular versions. The less powerful unit will offer WLTP consumption of 52mpg, with the mower powerful one returning 50mpg on the combined test cycle.
The Puma will also be available with a non-hybrid 124bhp version of the 1.0-litre, with a diesel engine expected to join the line-up after launch.
All petrol versions of the Puma will feature Ford’s innovation cylinder deactivation system which allows the three-cylinder engine to run on just two cylinders under light load conditions.
Ford are positioning the Puma as stylish yet practical, with class-leading load space of up to 456 litres, thanks to the innovative MegaBox boot system. This features an adaptable boot floor that covers an 80-litre storage space that can be left open to accommodate tall loads or covered up to hide precious or unsightly cargo. The space even features a drain plug to make it easier to clean and the Puma is the first in its class to feature a hands-free powered tailgate.
A lot of emphasis is also being put on other elements of the Puma’s technology, much of which comes from the class above.
As well as safety features such as pedestrian detection and forward collision mitigation, the Puma features post-collision braking, lane keeping assist and road edge detection to stop it drifting off the Tarmac.
It will also be available with adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition and lane centring, wrong way alert and evasive steering as well as new local hazard information, which can inform the driver of hazardous situations in the road ahead before they become visible to the driver or vehicle sensors.
And for comfort and convenience owners will be able to specify massage seats, Sync 3 infotainment with internet connectivity, wireless phone charging and a 12.3-inch configurable digital instrument display.
The Puma will go on sale later this year, with pricing announced closer to launch.