Crave the giggle-inducing character of Ford’s Fiesta ST hot hatch, but prefer the taller ride height associated with an SUV? Ford appears to be working on a solution.
The Blue Oval brand confirmed the arrival of a hot ST version of its designed-for-Europe Puma small SUV on Friday via a brief teaser video uploaded to its social media channels on Friday.
Exact styling details are hard to discern amid the dark lighting seen in the video, but spy shots suggest the sporty SUV is set to benefit from a deeper front chin spoiler, black front fascia accents, wider wheel arch flares, unique 19-inch alloy wheels, a larger rear spoiler, a revised rear bumper with dual exhaust tips, and a slew of ST badges denoting its sporting credentials.
Inside, the 30-second clip reveals the Puma ST’s Recaro sports seats and ST-badged sports steering wheel, both of which have likely been carried over from its hot Fiesta sibling.
The video also provides a glimpse at the hot crossover’s exhaust note, which closely resembles the distinctive tone produced by a turbocharged three-cylinder engine – suggesting it’ll use the same 1.5-litre mill as the Fiesta ST, producing 147kW of power and 290Nm of torque.
In the sporty supermini the engine is mated solely to a six-speed manual transmission, though the more comfort-oriented market that an SUV typically targets could see an automatic option join the range, potentially the eight-speed torque-converter unit used in Focus and Escape models with a detuned version of the same engine.
Likely helping to channel that power to the road is a limited-slip differential, while a sharper drive thanks to stiffer suspension and bigger brakes is also expected.
The 2020 Ford Puma ST will make its debut this year, though the timing of Ford’s teaser suggests it will be sooner rather than later.
An Australian launch for the model has yet to be confirmed. Standard versions of the Puma are due Down Under in the second half of 2020, with all variants powered by the same 92kW/170Nm 1.0-litre turbo and seven-speed automatic powertrain.