Ford’s shift from sedans and hatchbacks to crossovers, SUVs, and trucks saw the automaker introduce several new models to fill out its lineup. The Ranger returned while the bite-sized EcoSport came to America to serve as the brand’s entry-level offering. It initially debuted in 2013 and received a substantial update for its US arrival in 2018; however, the automaker could add another compact crossover to its lineup that’s a bit more exciting.
Ford CEO Jim Farley retweeted yesterday a 15-second ad for the new 2021 Ford Puma ST from the Ford UK account and wrote with it, “Wish this came to NA [North America] and other markets!” Maybe he can talk the person in charge into changing that at the next executive meeting. Joking aside, Farley is on the record saying that he’d like to see the brand offer more affordable vehicles – a space once served by its sedans and hatchbacks – though Ford emphasized its focus on crossovers and SUVs.
The addition of the Puma ST – which would also likely include the regular Puma – would give Ford a sportier sibling to the off-road-oriented Bronco Sport, even if the cat would slot below the bucking horse in the lineup. The Puma shares its underpinnings, styling, and powertrain with the new Fiesta. The ST variant packs a potent 1.5-liter three-cylinder that produces 197 horsepower (146 kilowatts) and up to 320 Newton-meters (236 pound-feet) of torque with overboost. The engine makes 290 Nm (214 lb-ft) without it while sporting a six-speed manual, too.
For now, Farley’s tweet is just a tweet, though something that could happen if he’s serious about fleshing out Ford’s affordable product lineup. Sales for Ford’s small cars dwindled through the 2010s as gas prices dropped and the economy recovered after the 2008 Recession – while loan terms and payments have also ballooned. The company has a history of developing small vehicles that are fun and engaging to drive without breaking the bank. Bringing the Puma ST here seems like a no-brainer.