Ford CEO Jim Farley has gotten us very excited.
Telsa CEO Elon Musk has normalized automotive bosses posting major news about their company through cryptic tweets. Well, now Ford CEO Jim Farley is joining in with a mysterious tweet of his own. Farley retweeted a Ford UK advertisement for the new Puma ST accompanied by the comment: "Wish this came to NA and other markets!"
For those unfamiliar with the car, the Puma is a subcompact crossover based on the same platform as the new Fiesta hatchback that isn't offered in the United States. Ford recently introduced a faster ST variant using the same turbocharged three-cylinder powering the European Fiesta ST.
Does this finally mean the Puma is coming stateside?
Farley's tweet can not be taken as an official announcement. Still, it seems odd for Ford's CEO to say he wishes the car would be offered in North America and other markets when he is the exact person who could make it happen. We've already pitched our idea that the Puma should directly replace the 2021 Ford EcoSport, which hasn't been updated in several years and struggles to remain competitive with other subcompact crossovers.
Not only is the Puma more attractive than the EcoSport, but it has much more modern bones. The EcoSport was first introduced to a global market back in 2012 before being offered in the US starting in 2018. By contrast, the Puma was revived for the European market in 2019, meaning it is far more contemporary than its American counterpart.
The Puma serves a very different role in Ford's lineup than the recently-introduced Bronco Sport, so we think it makes perfect sense for a North American audience. The Puma rocks a 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine with mild-hybrid assist producing up to 153 horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque in base form. The ST model gains a larger 1.5-liter engine that produces 197 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, and best of all, it's paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
We think the Puma ST would slot perfectly into the US subcompact crossover segment, which lacks many performance options. The only vehicles that could outmuscle the Puma ST are the Mazda CX-30 Turbo and the upcoming Hyundai Kona N, neither of which offers a manual transmission. The Puma coming to the US may still only be a dream, but at least Ford's CEO is on the same page.