The 2021 Ford Puma Is a Small 200-Horsepower Performance SUV With a Talent For Fun

The new Ford Puma will, most likely, come in several different guises. The one we are most interested in is an alleged performance ST version that, lately, hooned its ST skills over the hard tarmac and bends of the Nurburgring race track in Germany. Spy shots that come from Europe clearly showcased the small Ford SUV tackling the ’Ring with large exhausts and rather large wheels and tires. That is basically the only differentiating factor between this Nurburgring-caught Ford Puma, and other units previously spotted on the roads.

Update 10/31/2019: The Ford Puma ST has been caught testing in the wild once again, this time feature a lot of production parts and no padding. Check out our special “spy shots” section below to learn more about it and see the latest images.

Spy Shots

October 31, 2019 – Ford Puma ST drops padding and shows off its production-ready look

2021 Ford Puma ST Exterior Spyshots
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The last time we saw the Ford Puma ST, it might as well have been in the embryonic stages of development, sporting wicked amounts of cheap plastic padding. This time around, however, all of that annoying padding is gone, the production panels are in place, and we can finally make out what to expect from the Puma ST. The front end now features the typical Ford styled grille that makes the front end look like a happy guppy, while the lower air dam takes on a trapezoidal shape that does add some character. The important thing to note here is the new spoiler at the bottom, and the sunk in areas of the corner that represent an all-new corner vent design for the puma. These corner intakes will be significantly larger; however, they won’t really facilitate more airflow – they are more for aesthetic appearances. The hood also won’t be as muscular as previously thought as you can see now that the extra padding has been removed.

2021 Ford Puma ST Exterior Spyshots
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Around back, the full production rear fascia is in place, as are the taillights. The latter we could make out on the last prototype, but they were heavily covered. As you can see, the rear fascia has a somewhat aggressive design with what appears to be a set of flics in the lower corners. The license plate recess is rather huge, but it may play out well if the definition of the lower fascia remains once the tape and camo come off. The Ford Puma ST is shaping up to be a real looker, and we’re pretty sure that you’ll appreciate the appearance of the production model. By the way, in case you didn’t notice, this is the same prototype that we saw testing before – the license plate is the same as is the name. Last time, the name was quickly written on a piece of padding on the rear deck while this time, it’s on a piece of duct tape under the passenger side taillight. Go ahead and say hi to Vader – it’s okay, he won’t get in trouble.


  • new bumpers
  • new rear spoiler
  • large exhaust tips
  • 18-inch wheels (at least)
  • lower compared to standard Puma ST
2021 Ford Puma ST Exterior Spyshots
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The new Ford Puma ST, most likely, took the primary styling cues from the small Fiesta ST and adapted them for the small city SUV layout. If you position the Fiesta and the Fiesta ST one next to another you can clearly see some unique styling differentiating cues between the two. Ford’s ST division likely imagined the same features for the Puma ST.

left right

Compared to the standard Fiesta, the Fiesta ST has a differently styled grille, bumpers, rear spoiler, wheels, and side skirts. As it rides with the new set of coilovers, the Fiesta ST also feels a bit lower compared to standard models. Considering that the Puma architecture is more or less, the same as the architecture on the latest Fiesta, I can only imagine Puma receiving the same differentiating features.

2021 Ford Puma ST Exterior Spyshots
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So, compared to the standard Puma, the Puma ST should have:

  • larger intakes up front (if nothing, more black plastic surfaces around the fog lights)
  • sporty side skirts
  • a spoiler at the back
  • small diffuser
  • larger wheels (probably 18-inch wheels)
  • large exhaust tips
  • tinted rear windows
  • lower stance
2021 Ford Puma ST Exterior Spyshots
- image 839128

Now, we are still to see the official photos of the standard new Puma, but we do know it will tackle the same segment as the Volkswagen T-Roc, upcoming Skoda Kamiq, the Renault Captur, or the Peugeot 2008. Interestingly enough, the Puma ST will compare to the high-performance versions of the T-Roc. Not the T-Roc R of course. The thing is that German competitors actually do offer something more than the Puma ST could ever offer – an AWD system and a four-cylinder engine.
Nevertheless, the 200 horsepower Puma ST will be cheaper compared to the T-Roc, the Kamik, and definitely compared to the Q2.


  • Sync 3 infotainment
  • red stitching decorations
  • the all-digital instrument cluster (possibility)
  • Far more room inside compared to the Fiesta
2017 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Interior
- image 699482
Taking into account that the Puma cabin will be a tad roomier compared to the one in the Fiesta, I can imagine it getting the slightly differentiated dashboard, differently positioned screen, and reimagined vents.

This, along with the differentiated decorations on the dash, should go a long way with making the new Puma a unique and a quirky proposition on the market. The word on the street is clear – the new Puma will have a rather roomy boot with a bit more than 450 liters of capacity. Now, the ST should take the quirkiness and cuteness to a whole another level. Expect red decoration features such as the red stitching, ST badges on the steering wheel and the dash, as well as sporty seats – leather upholstered, of course!

2017 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Interior
- image 699488
Nevertheless, the technology will be on par with what you can see in the latest Fiesta ST.

The Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay integration and excellent sound system is a must. Sure, the Puma ST should have some cool and unique performance orientated graphics as a part of the infotainment system. Moreover, the whole instrument gauge display should receive a makeover – even compared to the Fiesta ST – I do also expect a digital display instead of the analog gauge cluster. That could be really cool!


  • almost as quick as the Ford Fiesta ST
  • Quaife limited slip diff
  • 0-62 mph in about seven seconds
  • Launch Control

With a higher driving position, more clearance, and quite a bit more weight, the new Ford Puma will have considerably upgraded chassis and suspension compared to the Fiesta. The main feature, however, could stay unchanged. Rear twist beam roll stiffness of 1,400 Nm/degree makes the rear twist beam on the Fiesta ST one of the most rigid in the industry. I believe the same will sit at the back end of the Puma ST. However, the Puma ST will get slightly bigger springs and dampers – now even fiercer in its quest to reduce the pitch and roll of a high riding city car.

The latest 2019 Fiesta ST has a rather advanced suspension system that provides rather impressive driving characteristics to the compact hatch. The Fiesta ST „benefit from the technology that uses non-uniform, non-interchangeable, directional-wound spring to apply vectoring forces to the rear suspension and enables cornering forces to travel directly into the spring for increased lateral stiffness.“

That’s what Ford has to say about the suspension system of the Fiesta ST. I am quite sure that the Puma ST will get much the same tech to provoke a proper hot-hatch response from the Puma ST SUV form.

The new 2020 Puma ST will be motivated by the same engine as the Fiesta ST. That means you can expect a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder under the hood with up to 200 horsepower, and 214 pound-feet of torque. I don’t hold my breath for any surprises in this regard. Nevertheless, this three-cylinder EcoBoost could propel the hot Puma ST to 62 mph in about seven seconds. It is highly likely that some versions of the new 2020 Puma ST get a Quaife LSD, and the dedicated Launch Control system.

2020 Ford Puma ST specs and performance:

0-62 mph 7 seconds
Top speed 135 mph
Fuel economy 46mpg
Transmission automatic, dual-clutch (six-speed manual possibly available)
Wheels 18-inch wheels


2021 Ford Puma ST Exterior Spyshots
- image 839135

The 2020 Ford Puma ST will probably top the Fiesta ST price in the U.K. by, at least, $7,000. That would put the 2020 Ford Puma ST at the $30,000 mark in the U.K. Nevertheless, the Puma ST, as an all-new SUV on the market, should make for an exciting and quirky proposition. Sometimes, I feel that the new Puma wants to be what the Nissan Juke was a decade ago – a crisp, and curious city SUV.


Volkswagen T-Roc 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4Motion

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 728103

With 190 horsepower, four-cylinder engine, dual clutch transmission, and the 4Motion AWD system, the Volkswagen T-Roc 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4Motion seems like a far more serious contender in the market bracket dedicated to practicality, high-riding position, off-road capabilities, and speed compared to the Puma ST
This T-Roc can accelerate to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds, achieve a top speed of 134 mph, and cost $32,500 in the U.K. So, you may say that Puma ST does some things better compared to it! Guess again! Get four in the Puma ST and four in this T-Roc and have a drag race. See who wins!

Read our full review on the Volkswagen T-Roc 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4Motion

Hyundai Kona 1.6 Turbo DCT 4WD

2018 Hyundai Kona High Resolution Exterior
- image 720693

The second obvious contender to the Ford Puma ST is the Hyundai Kona. True, this Korean car still does not have a dedicated N performance version (in the works), but I feel that the top of the range Hyundai Kona 1.6 Turbo DCT 4WD with 177 horsepower engine could compete with the Puma ST.

The Hyundai is exactly a grand cheaper compared to the T-Roc I mentioned before. However, it does come with a dual-clutch transmission and can surge to 62 mph in less than 8 seconds. While it would not be as quick to 62 mph as the Puma ST, it does have an AWD system and four cylinders.

Read our full review on the Hyundai Kona 1.6 Turbo DCT 4WD

Nissan Juke Nismo

2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 533309

Nissan Juke is one of the oldest small city SUVs on the market. It is evicted from the U.S., but when it was on offer, its top-notch Nismo version definitely presented a unique offering Ford wants to now recreate with the new Puma ST.
Unlike the Puma ST, but like the Kona and the T-Roc, the Juke Nismo had an all-wheel-drive system. It transferred all 215 horsepower to the ground, enabling the Juke Nismo to accelerate to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds. It remains to be seen if the Puma ST will be able to put up a fight against any of the AWD competitors. While at that, it would be simply awesome to have some sort of the AWD for the Puma. Could it happen!?

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Juke Nismo


2021 Ford Puma ST Exterior Spyshots
- image 839130

The new Ford Puma ST will not be the fastest or the quickest car in this segment. However, that is not even the point. Ford managed to find a small niche within the small city SUV kingdom where only the Nissan Juke Nismo resides. Now, the Puma ST seems to be a car to fill that gap. However, I can imagine at least two more serious non-performance contenders that seem to be as proficient with speed as the Puma ST. Nevertheless, it is a slight refreshment on the market and further proof that the SUVs aren’t going to die out quickly.

  • Leave it
    • Small
    • It’s a three-cylinder performance SUV, and that feels wrong
    • Not planned for the U.S.

Further reading

2017 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Exterior
- image 699483

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST High Resolution Exterior
- image 706946

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST.

Safet Satara
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