New entry-level Ford

Puma ST on way

Ford Puma ST Powershift, 2023, side, action
Ford Puma ST Powershift, 2023, front
Ford Puma ST Powershift, 2023, rear
Ford Puma ST Powershift, 2023, interior
Ford Puma ST Powershift, 2023, gear lever
Ford Puma ST Powershift, 2023, instrument panel

FORD is introducing an entry level version of the Puma ST with an automatic transmission and the most powerful iteration of its 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine.

Developing 170ps and with a seven speed box, the Puma ST Powershift comes with paddle shifters and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system which gives it a 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 7.4 seconds.

Fuel economy is officially rated at 44.8mpg with emissions of 144g/km.

The new model joins the existing 1.5-litre Puma ST and shares the ST chassis set up for sporty driving.

It includes bespoke twist-beam and anti-roll bar settings, and force vectoring springs.

Stefan Muenzinger, Ford Performance manager for Europe, said: "The Ford Performance team called on all of its experience developing the original Puma ST to deliver ST signature fun-to-drive without losing the practicality of our compact SUV, and our new Powershift derivative is even more versatile.

"We're using 48-volt mild hybrid technology not just to improve efficiency but also to enhance peak power and torque. The multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is combined with a paddle-shift-operable, seven-speed, dual-clutch Ford Powershift transmission - fusing an energised driving experience and everyday usability."

The Puma ST Powershift also has the same active exhaust valve technology as the Puma ST for increased performance and a distinctive ST engine note under acceleration. Controlled by the selectable drive modes, the active exhaust valve remains closed in Normal and Eco modes for everyday refinement but opens in Sport mode to intensify the sporty sound.

"The combination of a downsized engine and electrified technology helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions while providing accessible, everyday performance. Together with the recalibrated Powershift transmission, this package delivers smart performance and emotional ST fun-to-drive," Mr Muenzinger said.

Ford says that the Puma ST Powershift ift produces exactly twice the power-per-litre of a 2002 Focus ST170.

The Puma ST Powershift introduces a new ST-exclusive Azura Blue signature colour among six exterior paint options.

Inside, standard highlights include Ford Performance-developed sports seats finished in premium synthetic leather-effect material, a wireless charging pad, Quickclear heated windscreen, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, FordPass Connect modemand Ford's SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system,which iscompatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Available driver assistance technologies include pre-collision assist with active braking,active park assist,cross traffic alert with active brakingand an intelligent speed limiter.

Prices for the ST Powershift are still to be announced but it is expected to cost less than the £32,000 of the 1.5-litre ST.

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