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Ford dusts down its Puma badge – but this time it’s on an SUV, not a coupe

Ford has revived its Puma brand for the first time in 17 years – but it’s not a small coupe, it’s a compact crossover SUV.

In more than a nod to current trends, the all-new Ford Puma, announced this week, is a compact SUV that sits between the small EcoSport crossover and the upcoming new Kuga SUV.

It still pays homage, in a way, to the original Puma and that’s because it uses the Fiesta platform.

The original Puma was a small-but-sleek coupe based on Fiesta underpinnings – and the modern SUV version is also based on the Fiesta platform.

However, Ford has managed to stretch the Fiesta chassis for the Puma SUV, with a 95mm longer wheelbase than its supermini sibling. The five-door model Puma is also 46mm longer overall, and 71mm wider.

Apart from that, what you get is the latest Ford tech, engines and hybrid powertrain technology, which all adds up to the modern Puma being very different to its ancestor.

The exterior design is very modern with styling cues including wing-top mounted headlamps and athletic lines.

Compact crossover proportions deliver a raised ride-height for a better driving experience, and support “class-leading” luggage capacity of 456 litres.

There’s also the Ford MegaBox, a storage area designed to cope with upright items like golf clubs and potted plants.

The latest powertrains are available, including Ford’s EcoBoost Hybrid 48-volt technology. The mild-hybrid powertrain integrates electric torque assistance with a low-friction, three-cylinder 1.0‑litre EcoBoost petrol engine to deliver up to 155 PS.

Advanced driver assistance technologies include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring, for negotiating highway and stop-start traffic
  • New Local Hazard Information, which can inform the driver of hazardous situations in the road ahead before they become visible to the driver or vehicle sensors
  • Hands-free tailgate and Lumbar Massage Seat comfort.

The new Puma crossover comes in a range of trims including sporty Puma ST-Line and stylish Puma Titanium. Exact UK price and spec will likely be announced after the Puma’s official reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. (We’d expect it to come in around the £19k - £20k mark.)

It comes in 10 exterior colours includes Blazer Blue, Frozen White, Race Red, Solar Silver, Agate Black, Lucid Red, Grey Matter, Desert Island Blue, Magnetic and Metropolis White.

The new Puma, which goes on sale at the end of the year, joins Ford’s growing line-up of SUV and SUV-inspired crossover models in Europe, including the Fiesta Active, Focus Active, EcoSport, Kuga, Edge, and the all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid.

Ford’s George Saridakis said: “This stunning new look represents the next chapter in Ford’s design identity, while the overarching concept of ‘sexy sanctuary’ employs ingenious and elegant engineering solutions that – in combination with the highly expressive exterior – will delight and surprise customers, fulfilling their distinct needs and desires.”

The original Ford Puma was a front-engined, Europe-only three-door coupe based on the Mark 4 Fiesta but with a new body, sportier suspension and a top speed of up to 126mph. It also inspired a rally kit car.

It was made between 1997 and 2002 and famously used movie legend Steve McQueen and clips from the movie Bullitt in an acclaimed TV advertisement.

Belfast Telegraph