Like the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Ford Puma is transitioning from a sports coupe to a crossover.
When in doubt, just add more crossovers – that seems to be the motto in today’s automotive industry. After unveiling the all-new Kuga / Escape and the Europe-bound Explorer PHEV yesterday, Ford is now giving us a first look at another high-riding model due to hit European streets later this year. Dusting off the “Puma” moniker, the new small crossover will slot above the EcoSport but below the Kuga, much like the VW T-Roc is sandwiched by the T-Cross and Tiguan.
What used to be a pretty neat two-door sports coupe in the late 1990s and early 2000s is now a crossover “inspired from the world of SUVs,” according to the press release. Like the EcoSport, the new Puma will be built in Craiova, Romania where Ford used to make the slow-selling B-Max minivan up until a couple of years ago.
Gallery: 2019 Ford Puma preview
With this only being a teaser, Ford isn’t quite ready yet to go into a lot of details. We do know the new Puma is going to offer a cargo capacity of 456 liters (16.1 cubic feet), prompting the Blue Oval to say it’s a best-in-class figure. Not only that, but the trunk can accommodate two golf bags in an upright position, which was a request from potential customers Ford got in touch with during the Puma’s development phase.
Not that it comes as a big surprise, but power will be provided by a three-cylinder 1.0-liter EcoBoost unit produced at the very same plant where Ford recently built the one-millionth engine. In the new Puma, it’ll be offered with as much as 155 horsepower with a mild hybrid twist for better efficiency and more low-rpm torque. According to Ford, the new Puma will sip an estimated 5.4 liters / 100 km, which works out to 43.5 miles per gallon.
A full reveal of the 2020 Ford Puma will take place later this year.
FORD DELIVERS FIRST GLIMPSE OF ATHLETIC, INNOVATIVE PUMA CROSSOVER
- First image of Ford Puma reveals athletic and desirable styling of the SUV-inspired crossover model set to join the expanding Ford model line-up later this year
- Ingenious flexible rear stowage solution that will deliver best-in-class uncompromised load space and luggage capacity is among innovations developed following customer input
- Ford Puma fuel-efficiency and performance will be optimised with advanced Ford EcoBoost Hybrid 48-volt technology
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, April 3, 2019 – Ford today revealed the first image of the Ford Puma – an SUV-inspired compact crossover that fuses stunning exterior design; best-in-class luggage capacity and flexibility; and 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain technology.
Puma will go on sale at the end of the year, and will be produced with exceptional craftsmanship and quality at Ford’s Craiova Assembly Plant, Romania, following nearly €1.5 billion investment since 2008.
“Innovatively engineered and seductively styled, we think Puma is going to really resonate with compact-car customers in Europe. If you want a car that can turn heads on Friday night, and swallow your flat-pack furniture with ease on Saturday afternoon, then you’ve found it,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. “We've gone to every length to give customers the flexibility they want, with progressive and evocative styling, so that they can drive the best-looking car they've ever owned.”
The first image of the Ford Puma reveals significant styling cues including distinctive wing-top mounted headlamps and athletic, seductive, aerodynamic lines, alongside compact crossover proportions that support raised ride-height for a confidence-enhancing driving experience and class-leading uncompromised luggage capacity of 456 litres.
Developed to meet and exceed a clear requirement for flexible luggage space following extensive discussions with customers, the Puma’s innovative rear stowage solution provides a deep, versatile storage compartment that is capable of comfortably accommodating two golf bags in an upright position.
Ford EcoBoost Hybrid technology will optimise Puma fuel-efficiency* and deliver powerful, responsive performance, with up to 155 PS. A belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG) enables recovery and storage of energy usually lost during braking and coasting to charge a 48‑volt lithium-ion air-cooled battery pack.
The BISG also acts as a motor, seamlessly integrating with a low-friction, three-cylinder 1.0‑litre EcoBoost petrol engine and using the stored energy to provide torque substitution – which reduces the amount of work required from the petrol engine to maximise fuel savings, and torque supplementation – which increases the total torque available from the powertrain for optimised performance.
Puma joins Ford’s expanding line-up of SUV and SUV-inspired crossover models in Europe, including the Fiesta Active, Focus Active, EcoSport, Kuga, Edge, and the all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid – unveiled yesterday for the first time at Ford’s special “Go Further” Experience.
SUVs now account for more than one in five Ford vehicles sold in Europe, and sales rose more than 19 per cent in 2018.