The Puma, which got off to a strong start in all European markets, is not only back in production but gaining additional variants. A high priced trim level, a dual clutch transmission and diesel power are all new for the little crossover.
Having immediately found much favour in Germany, Italy and quite a few other countries in Ford of Europe’s empire, sales of the Puma slowed in March before collapsing in April due to COVID-19.
Before UK dealers were forced to close, the model looked set to take off there too. The 1 June re-opening of showrooms in England will give Ford of Britain a much needed major boost, especially with what is effectively a new model for the brand’s retail outlets.
Now, the arrival of Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine in 88 kW (120 PS) form, an optional seven-speed dual clutch transmission for the existing 92 kW (125 PS) 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit and an ST-Line Vignale model grade effectively mean the car is being relaunched across the region. A Ford of Britain spokesman has told just-auto that “The UK won’t be taking the EcoBlue engine – it’s a very small mix of sales on smaller vehicles such as Fiesta, and mHEV has proved popular on Puma”.
The diesel emits 99 g/km of CO2 according to NEDC norms or 118 g/km under the protocols of WLTP.
The new Puma ST-Line Vignale features what Ford calls a ‘satin aluminium’ upper grille and surround, a black lower grille, body-colour for the lower rear bumper and a large rear spoiler. Other trim levels for most of Ford of Europe’s markets remain as Trend, Titanium, Titanium X and ST-Line X.
All variants are manufactured in Romania, production having started last October before the stoppage in March. The Craiova factory got going again on 4 May and has been steadily ramping back up. The EcoSport, which is smaller and cheaper, is also made there.
A Puma ST will be the next variant to be added to the line-up.