The all-new Ford Puma ST introduces Ford Performance driving dynamics to the compact SUV segment for the very first time in Europe.
The Puma ST is powered by a 200PS 1.5‑litre EcoBoost engine1 delivering 0‑100 km/h acceleration in 6.7 seconds. An optimised chassis features bespoke twist-beam, anti-roll bar and damper configurations. Steering responses are 25 per cent faster and brakes 17 per cent larger than the standard Puma. Specially-developed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres also help deliver the most agile Ford SUV driving experience yet.
Enhanced with sophisticated Sports Technologies including a unique-in-segment limited-slip differential (LSD) option and patented force vectoring springs, Puma ST also features selectable Drive Modes including Sport mode and – for the first time on a Ford Performance vehicle – Eco mode; providing drivers with options for a wide range of road driving scenarios.
Combined, these innovations deliver the energised driving experience Ford Performance models are famous for across Europe, while retaining the comfort and flexibility offered by Ford’s new compact SUV.
Performance enhancements and aggressive styling sit side-by side with innovative features including Local Hazard Information connected-car technology2 and the Ford MegaBox that provides 80 litres of storage beneath the boot floor for everyday practicality.3
“Real driving enthusiasts aren’t going to settle for less excitement just because life demands a more ‘sensible’ car, so our number one priority was that the Puma ST had to be as exhilarating and capable as every ST model, without sacrificing any of Puma’s practicality,” said Stefan Muenzinger, Ford Performance manager, Europe. “We believe that we have the best-handling small SUV in its segment. It really does feel connected and has the true ST feel. It is a joy to drive.”
Redefining SUV agility
Ford Performance worked alongside Michelin to develop a bespoke tyre specification to complement the Puma ST’s enhanced chassis, without sacrificing the refined ride quality – one of the most compelling SUV attributes.
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres can fully exploit the additional traction offered by the optional Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential, delivered as part of the available performance pack.
The Puma ST is the only small performance SUV in Europe to be offered with an LSD, which optimises front-end traction to enhance cornering ability and minimise understeer, in particular on the exit of corners.
The purely mechanical system distributes engine torque to the wheel with the most grip, reducing wheel spin and allowing the driver to fully exploit the engine performance.
The LSD option works alongside Torque Vectoring Control, which improves road-holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering. The balance between the two features has been fine-tuned by Ford Performance to optimise grip on dry surfaces and smoothness on wet surfaces.
Puma ST further enhances Ford’s B-car architecture to counterbalance the vehicle’s naturally higher centre of gravity. The rear suspension twist-beam is uprated to 2,000Nm/deg torsional stiffness, an increase of more than 40 per cent compared with Fiesta ST and 50 per cent compared to the standard Puma, with a 28mm anti-roll bar integrated into the U‑section. A front 24mm anti-roll bar also contributes to cornering stability.
Ford’s patented force vectoring springs also improve the Puma ST’s stability, agility and responsiveness. The non-uniform, non-interchangeable, directionally-wound springs apply vectoring forces to the rear suspension and enable cornering forces to travel directly into the spring, for increased lateral stiffness.
The spring technology works in combination with Hitachi twin-tube frequency-reactive dampers at the front and rear, with the stiffness needed for enhanced body control alongside the compliance to isolate smaller road imperfections for high-speed refinement. Bespoke bump stops have been specified to maintain control under high suspension loads.
Puma ST’s steering delivers an 11.4:1 ratio – almost 25 per cent faster than the standard Puma – provided by a combination of revised front knuckle featuring a shorter steering arm and faster steering rack gearing, for heightened turn-in response.
“Steering is a focal point of any ST model as it’s key for the interaction between driver and vehicle. The Puma ST turn-in response is exceptional. The direct and precise vehicle reaction provides confidence – a key ingredient for fun-to-drive,” Muenzinger said.
Braking performance is also optimised for a true ST driving experience. Front discs are increased by 17 per cent in diameter compared with the standard Puma specification to 325mm, and 271mm discs feature at the rear. Puma ST’s brake booster is tuned for modulation, feel and feedback that supports performance driving.
Powerful, responsive EcoBoost performance
Ford’s sophisticated 200PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – first introduced for the multi-award-winning Fiesta ST – features advanced turbocharging and high-pressure fuel injection technologies alongside Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing to deliver sports car performance with optimised fuel efficiency.
The all-aluminium engine’s three-cylinder architecture provides naturally high torque at low rpm, and performance is enhanced by a radial-axial turbocharger and an integrated exhaust manifold that minimises the distance exhaust gasses travel between cylinders and turbocharger – both helping build boost pressure faster and minimise lag.
Peak power is available at 6,000rpm, with peak torque increased to 320Nm between 2,500rpm and 3,500rpm, contributing to linear acceleration and enhanced responsiveness.
In addition to a bespoke air-intake and a free-flowing exhaust system for maximum performance, the Puma ST also features new roll-restricting engine mounts that minimise unwanted movements particularly during hard cornering, while supporting everyday refinement.
Active exhaust valve technology amplifies the naturally sporty three-cylinder engine sound to enhance the driving experience. Ford Performance tuned the exhaust note to better suit the Puma ST’s more refined SUV character – the model is approximately one decibel quieter than the Fiesta ST for a more composed cruising experience.
Industry-first innovation further enables the 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine to be as sensible as it is sporty. Ford’s cylinder deactivation technology was the first to feature for a three-cylinder engine and can automatically stop fuel delivery and valve operation for one of the engine’s cylinders in conditions where full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with light demand on the engine.
The technology can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – saving fuel and seamlessly contributing to anticipated 6.0 l/100 km fuel efficiency and 134 g/km CO2 emissions NEDC (6.9 l/100 km and 155 g/km WLTP).1 A rapid light-off gas particulate filter also reduces soot emissions.
Puma ST is offered with the same direct, smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission as the Fiesta ST, with a shortened final drive ratio to enable 6.7-second 0-100 km/h (0‑62 mph) acceleration and a 220 km/h (137 mph) top speed while accommodating statement 19-inch alloy wheels.
Modes to suit your mood
Selectable Drive Modes are key to the Puma ST’s versatility. From a Track mode that configures the performance SUV for maximum fun-to-drive, to Eco mode, offered for the first time on an ST model, Drive Modes alter Puma ST’s character to suit scenario or mood.
In Normal mode, engine mapping, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), active exhaust valve and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) are configured to deliver natural responsiveness and a connected feel
In Eco mode, engine mapping and throttle response are configured for maximum fuel efficiency
In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened, and EPAS settings adjusted to deliver more feedback and finer control for fast road driving. The active noise control valve opens to intensify the sporty exhaust note. Sport mode is accessible immediately using a dedicated button on the steering wheel
In Track mode, all vehicle dynamics features are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled, and ESC interventions are set to wide-slip mode for the purest driving experience
In addition, three-mode ESC enables drivers to choose between full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full system de-activation.
Developed for use on track only and available as part of the optional performance pack, Launch Control enables drivers to achieve maximum satisfaction with consistently fast standing starts. Selected using steering wheel controls, the system activates a dedicated graphical display in the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Holding the throttle fully open will instruct the system to build engine rpm and automatically hold at the rev limit – filling an on-screen gauge that indicates when the car is prepared for launch. Releasing the clutch fully then enables an optimised standing start with ESC, traction control, Torque Vectoring Control and Torque Steer Compensation systems managing power and torque delivery.
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