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 168bhp and with a 7-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 expertise developing the original Puma ST to deliver ST signature fun-to-drive experience 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, 7-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 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 modem and Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, which is compatible 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 braking and 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.
Prices correct as of 08/03/22 and are subject to change.