Although hatchbacks like the Fiesta ST are no longer sold in the US, Ford still offers the ST line here. But instead of hatchbacks, they’re crossovers/SUVs like the Edge ST and Explorer ST. However, Ford offers a different model in Europe: the Puma ST. And it has recently found an ally here in the United States: Ford CEO Jim Farley.
The 2021 Ford Puma ST is fun, sporty, and not coming to the US (yet).
Ford Puma ST 2021 for 3/4 | Ford
Like the EcoSport, the 2021 Ford Puma ST is a subcompact crossover based on the Fiesta platform. But unlike the EcoSport, the Puma ST is truly sporty.
Under the hood of the 2021 Ford Puma ST is the same 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine used in the Fiesta ST for the European market, reports Evo. The Puma engine produces 200 hp and 236 lb-ft, sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and standard limited slip differential, Hagerty reports. The result is a 0-62 mph time of 6.7 seconds.
2021 Ford Puma ST interior | Ford
Compared to the standard model, the Ford Puma ST has a stiffer suspension and anti-slip system, more powerful brakes and quicker steering, reports Autoblog. There are also heated Recaro front seats, a track mode that disables traction control, and a functional front splitter and rear spoiler. And Launch Control is optional.
All this makes the 2021 Ford Puma ST the most comfortable small crossover/SUV, reports Top Gear. A higher center of gravity can’t be avoided, Car reports, but it runs flat and with little steering torque. The brakes are easy to apply, the steering is quick and direct, and despite the stiffer suspension it steers surprisingly well.
Unfortunately, we Americans won’t be able to witness this, as the 2021 Ford Puma ST won’t be for sale here. But, uh…
FordCEO Jim Farley seems to want to be a Puma STfan.
Ford’s current CEO, Jim Farley, has a lot of experience with the company’s fast products. He started out racing Shelby Cobras and still races his 1966 Ford GT40, reports Autoblog. And in a recent tweet below, he expressed his desire for Ford North America to offer the Puma ST in 2021.
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Of course, it seems a bit odd that Ford’s CEO would tweet about something like this, Motor1 thinks. Especially since he’s the CEO. But as Autoblog notes, it takes more than a tweet to get a car here. Although Autoblog also notes that Farley isn’t the first American automotive executive to want to hand over a European product.
As far as the US market is concerned, is the Ford Puma ST just a nostalgia or a sign of something more?
Does this mean he can come to the United States?
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Interestingly, Jim Farley emphasized that Ford intended to build more affordable cars. The 2021 Puma ST may not be the cheapest car in Ford’s European lineup, but it’s also a very economical performance car. And in the UK, the base version of the Puma is only $1,700 more expensive than the EcoSport Titanium.
It’s true that Ford has a couple of sporty crossovers: the aforementioned Edge and the Explorer ST. But while the Explorer ST is a surprisingly attractive option, the Edge ST doesn’t quite live up to its name, according to Car and Driver. So the Puma ST could be a cheaper alternative in Ford’s American range.
Hyundai Kona N prototype covered in camouflage paint | Hyundai Europe
Plus, it won’t be the only sexy little crossover. Hyundai is working on the Kona N, and it’s coming to the United States. And it has the same 275-hp 2.0-liter turbo four as the Veloster N. But unlike the Puma ST, it doesn’t have a manual overdrive, reports Car and Driver.
The biggest obstacle for Ford in bringing the Puma ST to market in the US is regulations. While the EcoSport and the Puma are based on the Fiesta platform, the former uses a discontinued Global platform. Ford had no intention of offering the current generation of the Fiesta in the United States. So it wasn’t necessarily designed to meet our emissions and crash standards. So, if the Puma ST were to come here, it would probably need at least some modifications.
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Officially, a company spokesperson told Autoblog that Ford has no plans to bring the Puma here. But when it was launched, at least some employees wanted to sell it in the United States, reports Car and Driver. And if Ford’s CEO wants it now, plans could change.
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frequently asked questions
Is the Ford Puma coming to the US?
Since the underbody of the Puma and the ST powertrain are not certified in the US, Ford cannot sell the crossover here.
Will there be a Ford Puma ST?
2020 Ford Puma ST Price and Release Date Expect some nearly new and used models to hit the market soon for early 2021. Prices for this fast Ford start at £28,495.
How much does a Ford Puma cost?
2020 Ford Puma | CarsGuide