Just to make us jealous.
After being discontinued way back in 2002, the Ford Puma was resurrected in 2019 - but not as a sports coupe like the original. Instead, the Puma name has been applied to a new Ford crossover, which is unsurprising given the unrelenting demand for small SUVs right now. There's even a high-performance ST variant.
Sadly, the Ford Puma is not sold in America, which is a huge shame as it could have replaced the sorely missed Fiesta ST and Focus ST hatchbacks. In Europe, however, Ford's tastiest piece of forbidden fruit is about to get even sweeter.
Our spies noticed a Puma ST tackling the Nurburgring. At first, it looks identical to the regular model, but the yellow circle on the rear window indicates the powertrain is electrified. This suggests the prototype is powered by an electrified version of the current model's turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine. There is no charging port, so it isn't a plug-in hybrid.
In the current Puma ST, Ford's 1.5-liter turbo generates 197 horsepower and up to 236 lb-ft of torque with overboost. This enables the high-performance crossover to hit 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which is only slightly slower than the Fiesta ST.
Adding electrical assistance should give the Puma ST a power boost while improving efficiency. Ford already offers a mild-hybrid version of the regular Puma with a 1.0-liter engine producing 125 hp.
Electrifying the Puma ST makes sense when you consider that a hybrid rally version of Ford's crossover is competing in the WRC next year. In 2022, new regulations will require all WRC rally cars to have hybrid technology. At this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, M-Sport presented a prototype of the Puma ST rally car that packed a 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine running on biofuel paired with a 134 horsepower electric motor and a 3.9-kWh battery.