Steve Fowler 2019-04-03 07:20
The new Ford Puma will arrive later this year, and will sit between the EcoSport and Kuga in the brand's SUV range
The Ford Puma is back, but not as we know it. Gone is the iconic small coupe of the late 90’s and early 2000’s that still makes every ‘best used car’ list we ever produce. Now the Puma name is being dusted off and used on a new Ford five-door SUV that’s set to arrive in dealers at the end of this year and provide the brand with a credible rival to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.
The new Puma sits on a version of the Fiesta chassis, as the old model did, with Ford insisting that the new car features ‘athletic and desirable styling’ like its namesake.
Until the car’s launch later in the year, these teaser shots are all that Ford is letting us see. However, at Ford’s exclusive preview event in Amsterdam, the car looked to have similar proportions to the Captur (it’s actually ever-so-slightly longer at around 4,200mm) with family styling that clearly links it to the new Ford Kuga.
Speaking to Auto Express, Ford of Europe’s director of design, Amko Leenarts, said, “It’s really important to have a family focus. A consistent showroom look is very important to us.”
The front of the car uses Kuga styling cues with similar LED DRLs around curved headlights, but but they sit higher up on the front wings, allowing for a wider and taller gaping grille flanked by further air intakes.
The height of the car helps Ford’s claims that the new Puma is hugely practical – answering criticisms from customers of rival SUVs’ about a lack of practicality. The rear hatch opens up to reveal a boot which, with the adjustable floor at its lowest setting, offers 456-litres of luggage space – that’s 46 litres more than a 2008, but just one litre more than a Captur. However Ford does say that the Puma’s boot will hold two golf bags sat upright.
Although Ford used its solus Go Further event in Amsterdam to tease the Puma and reveal it’s bigger brother the new Kuga (Ford stepped away from this year’s Geneva Motor Show), few further details were released of the new small SUV.
What we do know is that it’ll feature the 48-volt mild hybrid technology that will also find its way into the Fiesta and Focus.
The hybrid system works with Ford’s award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. A belt-driven integrated starter/generator will grab energy from the braking system and feed it into a 48-volt lithium-ion air-cooled battery pack. The generator never actually powers the car on its own, but provides a welcome boost to torque to up performance and lower emissions. There’s no word yet on the latter, but power is rated at 153bhp and torque at 240Nm with 50Nm of that coming from the integrated generator system.
There’s no word on pricing either, but assuming the Puma gets an engine line up similar to that of the Fiesta, we’d expect a car featuring the 99bhp version of the EcoBoost engine to cost just north of £21,000 with the mid-hybrid version costing around £23,000.
While the Puma will join the new Kuga in Ford’s SUV line-up, the existing EcoSport model will remain and is set to be replaced. However, that car will become the entry point to Ford’s SUV range, with the Puma sitting between the EcoSport and Kuga on price.
Are you pleased to see the return of the Ford Puma name? Let us know your thoughts below…