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Ford unveils diminutive Puma crossover

Fiesta-based Puma small SUV unveiled by Ford, no plans for Aus debut

27 Jun 2019

FORD has ripped the covers off its Puma small crossover, a Fiesta-based tallboy hatch that will be launched in Europe at the end of the year, but Ford Australia says there are no plans to offer the new model locally.


Based on the same architecture that underpins the B-segment Fiesta light hatch, the Puma will sit just above the EcoSport in Ford’s global SUV line-up.


The ageing EcoSport is nearing the end of its life cycle in Australia, and while the company’s local arm has no current plans to bring it here, it has not ruled out the possibility of introducing the Puma at a later stage.


The Puma also borrows some of its styling cues from the Fiesta, including its grille and front bumper, while its bulbous headlights and forward-sloping bonnet evoke the styling cues of the Tesla Model 3.


From the rear, the bulbous theme continues with tail-lights featuring a circular LED pattern, while the roof-mounted spoiler and 17- to 19-inch wheel options give the Puma a sporty look.


Variants include the Titanium with chrome trim elements and a metallic-grey rear diffuser and skid plate, while the ST-Line employs matte-black trim and high-gloss foglight surrounds, while a larger rear spoiler is optional.


A palette of 10 colours is available for the Puma, including hues of white, black, red, silver, grey, and, of course, blue.


Inside, the Puma features an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster also features.


Luxurious interior features available on the Puma include partial leather upholstery, alloy pedals, front seats with lumbar massage functionality, a panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging and a 10-speaker B&O sound system with a 150mm x 200mm subwoofer.


Cargo volume extends to 456 litres thanks to the MegaBox system which provides an additional 80L of space under the boot floor to help accommodate tall items without having to fold down the rear seats. A hands-free tailgate also aids in loading items.


Two new powertrains underpinning the Puma range feature mild-hybrid technology, with a 48-volt electrical system and an 11.5kW belt-driver starter/generator mated to a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine.


With the engine producing either 92kW or 114kW, the 48V mild-hybrid system can temporarily add up to 50Nm but is limited to 20Nm when the petrol engine is outputting its peak torque figure.


The mild hybrid helps reduce fuel consumption by up to nine per cent, with the 92kW version consuming 5.4 litres per 100km and emitting 124 grams of CO2 per km, up to 5.6L/100km and 127g/km in the 114kW version.


Auto-stop functions are extended with the mild-hybrid system, switching the engine off at speeds below 15km/h.


A 92kW pure petrol option will also be offered, while a turbo-diesel version mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto will be made available after launch.


Standard safety kit on the Puma extends to adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, speed sign recognition, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, post-collision braking and a 180-degree rearview camera.


Ford of Europe interior and exterior design director George Saridakis said the Puma was unlike anything Ford has produced before.


“From day one, we envisioned a vehicle in this segment that was immediately recognisable and as a result, we’ve created a compact crossover unlike anything we’ve ever produced before,” he said.


“This stunning new look represents the next chapter in Ford’s design identity, while the overarching concept of ‘sexy sanctuary’ employs ingenious and elegant engineering solutions that – in combination with the highly expressive exterior – will delight and surprise customers, fulfilling their distinct needs and desires.”


Ford has used the Puma name before, for a compact, front-drive coupe produced between 1997 and 2002.

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