The Puma ST, priced from £28,495, is powered by a 200PS 1.5‑litre EcoBoost engine1 delivering 0‑62mph 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 – part of the £950 Performance Pack - 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.
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.
Puma’s sporty styling – including a sloping roofline silhouette and pronounced wheel arches – lends itself to a more extreme Puma ST design that combines form and function.
A Ford Performance-embossed splitter is integrated into the front bumper to increase front end downforce by almost 80 per cent for greater stability and traction. The large rear roof spoiler also supports optimised aerodynamics, with a distinctive diffuser incorporated into the rear bumper. Signature ST upper and lower grilles are designed to deliver increased engine cooling capability.
The Puma ST offers Magnetite or machined metal finishes for the standard 19-inch alloy wheels, and six available exterior body colours include Agate Black, Desert Island Blue, Fantastic Red, Frozen White, Magnetic and bold, ST-exclusive Mean Green. A gloss black finish for the roof, grille surrounds, side spears, door mirror caps and rear roof spoiler are all standard, making the model even easier to identify.
The interior is equally charismatic; but even before entering, standard power-foldable door mirrors project the ST logo onto the ground when unlocking.
Inside, heated, bolstered Recaro sports seats – embossed with the ST logo and finished in grippy Miko Dinamica material – hold driver and front passenger firmly in place. Ford Performance skid plates, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel and ST gear knob also feature.
The exclusive Puma ST interior continues to offer best-in-class uncompromised loadspace of 456 litres,supported by the innovative Ford MegaBox. The adaptable storage solution provides a deep, versatile, 80-litre storage space beneath the boot floor – capable of comfortably accommodating two golf bags in an upright position.
Standard features to maximise comfort and convenience include a wireless charging pad, Quickclear heated windscreen, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and Ford’s SYNC communications and entertainment system – allowing drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple voice commands.
The system delivers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility at no extra cost and is supported by an 8-inch central touchscreen that displays the Ford Performance logo on start up. A premium B&O sound system is available as standard.
Standard FordPass Connect modem technology allows Puma ST owners to remotely control a selection of vehicle features – including Door Lock Unlock and Vehicle Locator – via the FordPass mobile app The modem also enables cloud-connected Local Hazard Information,which can inform drivers of a hazardous situation on the road ahead, even if the incident is not visible due to a bend in the road or other vehicles.
Further available driver assistance technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Active Braking, Active Park Assist, Cross Traffic Alert with Active Braking, and Intelligent Speed Limiter