Ford has no plans to introduce the Puma in the U.S.
If you’re one of our European readers, then you will someday get this version of Ford’s new Puma crossover. Yes, I said crossover, as the new car is a radical departure from the Fiesta-based sports coupe you may remember from the 1990s. Sadly, we won’t be getting the Puma on our shores, and we’re not even getting the new Fiesta on which it’s based either.
Why? This looks like a fun car with a bit of character against the likes of the EcoSport we currently get. The larger wheels suggest its ST lineage, and we’re curious as to what’s lurking within. In all likelihood, a Ford Puma ST would get the same 197 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine as the new Fiesta ST. You may think that engine is absolutely tiny, and you’d be right, but nearly 200 horsepower from a three-cylinder? That’s just as much power as Ford gave us with the last-generation Fiesta ST. What’s more, most who have tested the new model, calling it nothing less than brilliant.
If you lament the loss of hot hatchbacks like I do, then the fact that we don’t get either the Focus or Fiesta stings. But a hot crossover? We Americans are crossover crazy, so it does make some sense to bring a Ford Puma ST over in its place. Maybe that will happen one day, but there’s no official word from Ford that it’s happening. We do also prefer bigger cars, so perhaps that is driving Ford’s decision to keep the Puma away from us.
Whatever the reason, this is just a chance to get a glimpse at what we don’t get over here. It’s a shame, since the smaller side of the market could use some performance officers. With a punchy engine, better ground clearance, all-wheel drive, fuel economy and a little bit of practicality left over, these sorts of cars may just be the next big thing if and when big SUVs are knocked off their perch.