This may look like an ordinary Ford Puma ST at a first glance but it's substantially different than the hot crossover the Blue Oval has been selling since 2020. To diversify the lineup, a lesser version is now available with a smaller 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. The mild-hybrid three-pot is good for 168 horsepower and 183 pound-feet (248 Newton-meters) of torque. As a refresher, the 1.5-liter variant has 197 hp and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm).

Another major difference between the two is how power is routed to the front wheels. The beefier Puma ST uses a six-speed manual gearbox whereas the new entry-level flavor boasts a Powershift transmission with paddle shifters. It's a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic unit, enabling the spicy subcompact crossover to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 7.4 seconds. That makes it 0.7s slower than the more powerful 1.5-liter model.

2023 Ford Puma ST with 1.0-Liter Engine, Dual-Clutch Auto

Benefitting from Ford's most powerful version of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, the new automatic Puma ST features mild-hybrid technology to cut fuel consumption to 6.3 liters / 100 kilometers. The 48V setup lowers CO2 emissions to 144 g/km and peak horsepower arrives at 5,750 rpm. The full torque kicks in at 3,000 rpm. Much like the more potent variant, it gets the active exhaust valve technology, altering the soundtrack depending on the driving mode.

For the newly launched Powershift model, Ford is adding an ST-exclusive Azure Blue paint job, contrasted by an optional glossy black roof. There are six exterior paint options available. As standard, the spicy crossover has black side mirror caps, grille surround, and roof spoiler, while the 19-inch wheels can be had with a Magnetite finish.

Inside, you get Ford Performance-branded sporty front seats wrapped in synthetic leather, along with a heated windshield and a wireless charging Pad. The Puma ST Powershift also comes nicely equipped with front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, and several driver assistance systems (including Adaptive Cruise Control). Sadly, it still uses the old SYNC3 infotainment, but you do get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Although Ford CEO Jim Farley tweeted back in February 2021 that he'd like to see the Puma ST in North America, it still hasn't happened.

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