Mean Green - The New Ford Puma ST at Cuff Miller
We teased it earlier in the year, but now we can finally reveal the full details. Introducing, the Ford Puma ST!
Finally, something we can look forward to in 2020! The Puma ST rocks the excellent 1.5 litre 200PS Ecoboost 3 cylinder debuted the Fiesta ST, with an added boost in torque from 290nm to a useful 320nm. The result is a 0-62mph sprint in just 6.7 seconds and flexible power delivery from low revs. It’s a characterful powerplant too, completed by a valved, twin exit, slash-cut exhaust poking out from a beefier lower diffuser at the rear. This means when you want to move around quietly; say in normal mode, the valve closes muting the noise. Selecting Sport or Track mode however brings grin-inducing noise, including all the growls and pops we’ve come to expect from cars engineered by Ford Performance.
To make sure the Puma handles like an ST should, there’s a near-on 50% stiffer rear twist beam at the rear, new front anti-rollbar an optional Quaife differential as part of the performance pack (something we’d certainly recommend), twin-tube front shocks with force vectoring springs and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, that we’ve tested on the last generation Focus RS and provide transformative levels of grip and handling. A clever steering knuckle and rack arrangement means lock to lock speed is 25% quicker which should add to the agility of an already capable chassis.
Brakes have been upgraded upfront too, running huge 325mm discs upfront which are reported to work well when driven hard on track, should you happen to find yourself ‘accidentally’ or otherwise on track at Goodwood…
Shown here in mean green, the ST grains a high gloss black roof and accents and is fitted as standard with a Recaro interior alongside a whole host of other useful tech. This includes Ford’s SYNC 3 system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, front and rear parking sensors and Ford Pass connect meaning you can check vehicle status such as location and fuel level and remotely lock and unlock the car using your phone.
The Puma ST doesn’t suffer when it comes to practicality either, retaining the excellent interior and luggage space of the regular car, including the excellent ‘megabox’ sited below the boot floor offering an additional 80 litres of storage space, or (in a measurement that we can all understand) take a full set of golf clubs standing up, for example.
Take a look at the video below for a full walk around by Stefan Muenzinger, Manager for Ford Performance in Europe or carry on reading below for more, geeky detail. You may recognise the Puma ST driving around Birling Gap and Beachy Head as reported earlier this year.
Cars are due to be available order this month, so if you would like to register your interest, please contact us here, or call Paul or Robin on 01903 714367
More geeky detail
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 2,000 Nm/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 28 mm anti-roll bar integrated into the U‑section. A front 24 mm 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 325 mm, and 271 mm discs feature at the rear. Puma ST’s brake booster is tuned for modulation, feel and feedback that supports performance driving.
Powerful, responsive EcoBoost performance
Ford’s sophisticated 200 PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – first introduced for the multi-award-winning Fiesta ST – features advanced turbocharging and high-pressure fuel injection technologies alongside Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing to deliver sports car performance with optimised fuel efficiency.
The all-aluminium engine’s three-cylinder architecture provides naturally high torque at low rpm, and performance is enhanced by a radial-axial turbocharger and an integrated exhaust manifold that minimises the distance exhaust gasses travel between cylinders and turbocharger – both helping build boost pressure faster and minimise lag.
Peak power is available at 6,000 rpm, with peak torque increased to 320 Nm between 2,500 rpm and 3,500 rpm, contributing to linear acceleration and enhanced responsiveness.
In addition to a bespoke air-intake and a free-flowing exhaust system for maximum performance, the Puma ST also features new roll-restricting engine mounts that minimise unwanted movements particularly during hard cornering, while supporting everyday refinement.
Active exhaust valve technology amplifies the naturally sporty three-cylinder engine sound to enhance the driving experience. Ford Performance tuned the exhaust note to better suit the Puma ST’s more refined SUV character – the model is approximately 1 decibel quieter than the Fiesta ST for a more composed cruising experience.
Industry-first innovation further enables the 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine to be as sensible as it is sporty. Ford’s cylinder deactivation technology was the first to feature for a three-cylinder engine and can automatically stop fuel delivery and valve operation for one of the engine’s cylinders in conditions where full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with light demand on the engine. The technology can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – saving fuel and seamlessly contributing to anticipated 6.0 l/100 km fuel efficiency and 134 g/km CO2 emissions NEDC (6.9 l/100 km and 155 g/km WLTP).1 A rapid light-off gas particulate filter also reduces soot emissions.
Puma ST is offered with the same direct, smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission as the Fiesta ST, with a shortened final drive ratio to enable 6.7-second 0-100 km/h (0‑62 mph) acceleration and a 220 km/h (137 mph) top speed while accommodating statement 19-inch alloy wheels.
Modes to suit your mood
Selectable Drive Modes are key to the Puma ST’s versatility. From a Track mode that configures the performance SUV for maximum fun-to-drive, to Eco mode, offered for the first time on an ST model, Drive Modes alter Puma ST’s character to suit scenario or mood.
- In Normal mode, engine mapping, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), active exhaust valve and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) are configured to deliver natural responsivness and a connected feel
- In Eco mode, engine mapping and throttle response are configured for maximum fuel efficiency
- In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened, and EPAS settings adjusted to deliver more feedback and finer control for fast road driving. The active noise control valve opens to intensify the sporty exhaust note. Sport mode is accessible immediately using a dedicated button on the steering wheel
- In Track mode, all vehicle dynamics features are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled, and ESC interventions are set to wide-slip mode for the purest driving experience
In addition, three-mode ESC enables drivers to choose between full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full system de-activation.
Developed for use on track only and available as part of the optional performance pack, Launch Control enables drivers to achieve maximum satisfaction with consistently fast standing starts. Selected using steering wheel controls, the system activates a dedicated graphical display in the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Holding the throttle fully open will instruct the system to build engine rpm and automatically hold at the rev limit – filling an on-screen gauge that indicates when the car is prepared for launch. Releasing the clutch fully then enables an optimised standing start with ESC, traction control, Torque Vectoring Control and Torque Steer Compensation systems managing power and torque delivery.
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. Seats, gear lever gaiter and ST-branded floor mats are finished with Metal Grey stitching.
The exclusive Puma ST interior continues to offer best-in-class uncompromised loadspace of 456 litres,3 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 3 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 also is available.
Standard FordPass Connect modem technology5 allows Puma ST owners to remotely control a selection of vehicle features – including Door Lock Unlock and Vehicle Locator – via the FordPass mobile app.6 The modem also enables cloud-connected Local Hazard Information,2 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.
To register your interest, please contact us here, or call Paul or Robin on 01903 714367