New 2020 Ford Puma ST to get 197bhp and cost around £30k

The hot Ford Puma ST is set to get power from the Fiesta ST and our exclusive image previews how it could look

Ford is readying a hot version of its upcoming Puma crossover – and these spy shots give us our best look yet at the Puma ST model before its official release towards the end of next year.

While the test car is almost completely camouflaged, the hallmarks of a hardcore performance model are already clear to see: it rides closer to the ground and on larger wheels than the standard Puma, while a pair of exhaust tips, instead of a single pipe, poke out from the rear bumper.

• The greatest fast Fords

It appears that this model is still wearing the standard Puma bodywork beneath its disguise, but our exclusive image shows how the ST could look. We can expect it to follow the lead of other recent fast Fords by featuring a larger front air dam, deeper bumpers and an extended rear spoiler.

The Puma shares its platform with the Fiesta, so any performance version is likely to use the same running gear as the Fiesta ST. That means power will be provided by a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with roughly 197bhp and 290Nm.

Drive will be sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, but the Puma’s extra weight relative to its supermini cousin means that it’s likely to lag slightly behind the Fiesta’s 6.5-second 0-62mph time. Stopping power comes courtesy of an uprated braking system that features larger discs at the front.

As it stands, the Puma will have very few rivals when it hits showrooms. With a replacement for the Nissan Juke Nismo RS looking unlikely, there are currently no outwardly sporty compact crossovers on the market. However, the Puma ST is likely to face stiff opposition from Hyundai; the Korean firm is readying a high-performance version of its Kona that will fall under its N sub-brand.

Elsewhere, the cabin upgrades for Ford’s ST family are usually fairly subtle; expect the hot crossover to feature a supportive set of Recaro sports seats and extra badging to single it out from the lesser models in the Puma range. The standard car’s cabin is generously equipped, featuring a 12.3-inch customisable digital instrument panel, Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system complete with eight-inch touchscreen, and a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.

The current flagship Puma, the ST-Line X Plus First Edition, costs £27,345 and the larger Focus ST starts from £31,995, so expect the ST to sit somewhere between those two figures when Ford begins taking orders for the hot crossover.

What do you think of our exclusive Ford Puma ST image? Let us know your thoughts below…

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