Ford Performance has revealed the sportiest version of the Blue Oval’s new light SUV, the Puma ST, but will the Hyundai Kona N-Line rival be sold in Australia?
Speaking to CarsGuide, a Ford Australia spokesperson confirmed the company has “no plans” for the Puma ST due to 98 per cent of light SUVs sold locally having an automatic transmission, while the new model is only available with a six-speed manual.
European buyers are in luck, though, with the Puma ST to serve up driving thrills via its 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine, which develops 147kW of power at 6000rpm and 320Nm of torque from 2500-3500rpm.
Now if all of this is starting to sound familiar, it’s because the Puma ST shares most of its upgrades with the 147kW/290Nm Fiesta ST hot hatch, which Ford does sell in Australia.
While down on torque, the Fiesta ST has bragging rights in a straight line, with it sprinting from a standstill to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds, making it 0.2s quicker to triple digits than the Puma ST.
And when it comes to carving up corners, the front-wheel-drive Puma ST can also be fitted with a Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential as part of a performance pack, with it helping to optimise traction from the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
The Puma ST also gets chassis upgrades, including bespoke configurations for its twist beam, dampers and anti-roll bars as well as 25 per cent quicker steering and 17 per cent larger brakes.
Compared to the regular Puma, the ST stands out with its exclusive Mean Green paintwork, sports body kit, 19-inch alloy wheels and active exhaust system.
Inside, the Puma ST steps up with a flat-bottom steering wheel, Recaro sports seats, a unique gear selector, Miko Dinamica upholstery and carbon-fibre trim.