Ford CEO Jim Farley shared a sneak peek of his ride in a Ford Puma WRC car on Twitter today. The Blue Oval's boss tweeted that the ride "was unlike any driving experience” he’s ever had." The short video shows Farley's reaction as Craig Breen pilots the new Ford Pump Hyrbid Rally1 along an unspecified course.
You can see the joy as Farley's grin grows wide on his face as Breen whips the Puma race car through the course. In January, Ford introduced the Puma Hybrid Rally1, which replaced the Ford Fiesta World Rally car. The Puma might look like the crossover, but its underpinnings are a bit more special. The Fiesta WRC car rode on a production car base, but new regulations gave manufacturers more freedom. Ford decided to use a space-frame chassis for the Puma race car.
The new Puma pairs the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine from the Fiesta WRC with a hybrid drive system that can add up to 134 horsepower (100 kilowatts), which is available during certain stages of the race. The combined output can reach put o 500 hp (373 kilowatts), which is quite a lot for a Puma.
It's unclear if Breen used all of the Puma's power, but the video does show the car hitting its max speed – 118 miles per hour (190 kilometers per hour). One thing likely making the ride a tad harrier is the Puma's lack of downforce compared to the Fiesta, thanks to new race mandates. Those rules also required five-speed manual gearboxes and no more paddle shifters or center differentials.
Farley is still smiling at the end of the video, saying, "That was awesome" and "That was so much fun." He concluded his tweet by saying that there's more to come, but he does not elaborate. Ford doesn't offer the Puma in the US, even though Farley tweeted more than a year ago that he'd wished the company sold it in North America. At the time, Ford lacked affordable models, but cars like the Maverick are filling that void. A Puma would be lovely, too.