Spy shots

197bhp Ford Puma ST SUV spotted testing 

Ford’s ST performance division is working its magic on the new Puma SUV 

The Ford Fiesta ST is one of our favourite hot hatches on sale today, with just shy of £20,000 affording buyers a highly entertaining machine. Now, it seems the blue oval’s applying the same formula to the all-new Puma SUV, and we’ve spotted it testing ahead of its reveal.

Seen on the roads of southern Europe, the almost disguise-free test mule sports various features yet to be seen on the compact SUV. Out goes the charming raised ride height, and in comes a hunkered-down, sporty aesthetic, largely thanks to the larger set of Fiesta ST-inspired wheels and a lowered ride height.

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> The Ford Puma returns, sort of

Details are yet to be confirmed, but the same 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost unit found in the Fiesta ST would be the likely source of power. Despite its larger size, weight is almost identical to that of the Fiesta, meaning performance figures shouldn’t be too far from the 6.5sec 0-62mph sprint and 144mph top speed of the hatch.

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Setting it apart from the standard 1-litre car are a set of 19-inch Fiesta ST-inspired wheels to help fill the arches, and larger brakes, as well as lower side skirts, a more aggressive front lip and a dual-exit exhaust, identical to the item seen on the Fiesta ST. A more open grille design also appears to have been incorporated for better airflow, and the headlights have taken on a more aggressive design.

Despite its increased focus on performance, the hot Puma will stay front-wheel drive due to design constraints. A stiffer, more focused chassis set-up is to be expected, however, as is an interior complete with Ford ST’s trademark contrast stitching, Alcantara touches and more.

A reveal date is yet to be announced. Expect pricing to start at around £25,000.

> 2019 Ford Fiesta ST review – simple, honest fun

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