The Puma nameplate is one that I haven’t heard of in a while, originally found on the back of a small ford coupe from the ’90s. Ford announced in June already that they are bringing back the name. This time however it’s not on a small 2 door coupe but a small SUV with a Coupe shape. A little disappointing but which major car brand still makes small 2 door coupes? As for design, it’s unmistakeable a ford, although the large grill does look a bit more guppy-ish than other models.
The rear three-quarter angle is definitely my favourite part of the external design. Ford used the same B-car architecture found in the new Fiesta as a platform but stiffened up a lot of the suspension components to aid best in class dynamics. In my opinion that was a smart move as the Fiesta is already one of the best cars to drive.
This new Puma will be one of the first fords to offer their new 48v mild-hybrid technology. A belt-driven integrated starter/generator(BISG) rated at 11.5kw replaces the standard alternator and is there supplement the petrol engine. Speaking of which Ford dropped in their tried and tested 1.0 3 cylinder turbo engine, the only change to the engine is including cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. BISG system provides up to 50nm torque under high load aiding performance, especially from low RPM. The system will also charge the 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack during braking and coasting. The Puma will be available in two states of tune 93kw(125ps) and 115kw(155ps).
The Interior falls in line with the rest of the new Ford cars, gone is the hard plastics and a million buttons. included now is a large 8″ Sync 3 Touch screen infotainment system which I think is one of the best out there. Another fantastic addition to the cockpit is the 12.3″ fully customizable digital instrument cluster. A B&O 10 speaker system will be available as an option and as usual, I recommend it. Ford also went to town with safety and convenience features including the likes of, Park assist, Blind spot info, Lane-keeping and a 180-degree reversing camera.
So what’s the bad news?, well currently this Puma is only available in Europe and Ford has no plans to bring it to South Africa. I understand their reasoning, us Africans are creatures of habit and usually like to by from Germany and this will probably price its self into a very busy price bracket. Would still be nice to see this on local roads, let’s hope Ford has a change of heart.