While American buyers eagerly await the return of Ford’s long-teased Bronco off-road SUV, European drivers are being baited with another vehicle altogether. It’s called the Puma. And the all-new compact crossover features a mild-hybrid powertrain but with body lines supposedly inspired by an SUV.
Along with its Transit All-Electric Smart Energy Concept, which was revealed in Amsterdam, Netherlands, earlier this week, Ford also teased audiences with its next all-new crossover, the Puma.
Powered by a 48-volt water-cooled lithium-ion battery pack and an EcoBoost turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine, good for a total of 152 net horsepower, the Puma is a reportedly sporty little crossover.
Ford says the compact crossover, which will go on sale later this year, has design features inspired by SUVs, including headlights mounted at the top of the front fenders. However, from the teaser Ford gave, the Puma looks more Porsche crossover — especially those headlights — than it does SUV.
“If you want a car that can turn heads on Friday night, and swallow your flat-pack furniture with ease on Saturday afternoon, then you’ve found it,” Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, said in a statement.
Ford is not likely to bring the Puma stateside. However, since the American automaker has been teasing, along with the reborn Bronco, a small off-roader crossover positioned beneath the iconic 4×4, the Puma might be worth paying attention to. That’s because although the mini-Bronco might not look like the Puma from the outside, they might share a chassis and powertrain.
Whether mini-Bronco (my name for the vehicle, not the official one) is related to Puma or not, this vehicle’s teasing underscores Ford’s dedication to the crossover and SUV markets. When Puma goes on sale it will join an already robust fleet of crossovers Ford sells on the continent, including the Fiesta Active, Focus Active, EcoSport, Kuga, Edge, and the all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid.
Let’s hope for Ford’s sake that Europeans are as crossover crazy as Americans.