Ford of Europe has officially revealed and detailed its all-new Puma crossover, which the company touts as an “SUV-inspired compact crossover”.
Despite being somewhat of an entry-level model, the Puma will be offered with a range of high-end technologies and convenience features, along with 48V mild-hybrid powertrains.
Available systems include adaptive cruise control with stop&go function (DCT only), speed sign recognition, lane centring, and local hazard information, all of which are only just starting to make their way into the compact SUV segment.
Contrary to the wording on the UK website, the Puma will be available with both conventional and mild-hybrid 48V powertrains, including two versions of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost Hybrid (92kW and 114kW) at launch, with further EcoBoost options and an EcoBlue diesel to join the range later on.
The mild-hybrid version available from launch teams the turbo three-cylinder petrol engine with an 11.5kW belt-driven starter/generator and a 48V air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack.
Ford says the 48V setup allows for fuel-saving start/stop technology to shut off the engine from 15km/h and below, and start it back up again in just 300 milliseconds – about the same as the blink of an eye.
In 125PS trim, the Puma EcoBoost Hybrid saves 0.4L/100km with a manual transmission. All versions of the 1.0-litre engine, hybrid or not, feature cylinder deactivation technology as well, allowing the vehicle to run on just two pots when coasting or cruising to enhance efficiency.
Following an initial launch, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will be available across select powertrains to supplement the standard manual.
Underneath the skin, the Puma utilises the same B-car architecture underpinning Ford’s Fiesta light hatch, though the Blue Oval has made adjustments to further optimise the Puma’s driving characteristics.
According to the company, the Puma features stiffer twist-beam rear suspension, larger shock absorbers, stiffer suspension bushes and ‘optimised’ suspension top mounts to reduce friction and enhance stiffness, which Ford says helps to “support best-in-class dynamics”.
As previously reported, the Puma will be offered with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of active safety technologies, which consists of the aforementioned adaptive cruise, lane centring and traffic sign recognition functions, along with active park assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
Other available features include Evasive Steering Assist – which helps to support steering inputs to manoeuvre around another vehicle if a collision is imminent – and Wrong Way Alert which uses the windscreen-mounted camera and navigation data to give audible and visual warnings if the driver goes through two ‘No Entry’ signs on a motorway ramp.
Inside, the Puma will be offered with a range of high-end features like a configurable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with 24-bit processing, an 8.0-inch Sync 3 infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, lumbar massage function for the front seats, a 575W B&O sound system with 10 speakers, along with wireless phone charging.
As for practicality, the Puma gets a 456-litre boot, which Ford claims to be best-in-class. By comparison, the Nissan Qashqai offers 430L with the second row in place.
Under the adjustable boot floor, Ford’s new crossover offers a new MegaBox system, which measures 80L and measures 763mm wide, 752mm long and 305mm deep. With the lid up, the space can accommodate items up to 115cm tall – like a plant, for example.
There’s synthetic lining and a drain plug, too, which means it can be cleaned with water.
Several trim levels will be offered, including the ST-Line you see here, along with the more luxurious Titanium.
ST-Line models feature standard 18-inch alloys, with 19-inch machined units optional (pictured), sports suspension with specially-tuned springs and shock absorbers, black exterior accents, a sports body kit, and a roof-mounted rear spoiler.
Inside, the sporty variant gets a flat-bottom steering wheel, contrasting red top-stitching throughout the cabin, alloy pedals, an aluminium gear shifter, and a black headliner.
Titanium versions get Pearl Grey machined 18-inch alloys, chrome exterior accents, metallic grey skid plate inserts front and rear, high-gloss black window surrounds, ‘leather-effect’ steering wheel, ‘wood-effect’ cabin ornamentation, and ‘distinctive’ fabric inserts for the door cards.
Ford says the Puma will go on sale in Europe “at the end of the year”, and will be produced “with exceptional craftsmanship” at the company’s Craiova facility in Romania.
Speaking with CarAdvice yesterday, Ford’s local division indicated there are no plans to bring the Puma to Australia.
“As an announcement for European markets, this news has no bearing on our Australian product offering,” said Damion Smy, product communications for Ford Australia.
It appears the Focus Active will serve as Ford’s more premium Euro-sourced compact crossover offering for the time being, with the upcoming ‘Baby Bronco’ the more likely small SUV to make its way Down Under from the Blue Oval’s global portfolio – provided the company can think of a name starting with ‘E’.
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