The Ford Puma ST first made its debut in 2020 with a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that served up 200 PS (197 hp or 147 kW) and 320 Nm of torque. At the time, the performance SUV sent its EcoBoost power to the front wheels via six-speed manual transmission.
In 2023, the Blue Oval is introducing a new version called the Puma ST Powershift, which does things a little differently. Under the bonnet, the 1.5 litre powerplant is replaced with a 1.0 litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine that is accompanied by a 48-volt mild hybrid system.
Featuring a lithium-ion battery pack and a belt-driven integrated starter/generator (BISG), Ford says the mild hybrid system offers a “longer boost period of torque supplementation for enhanced performance at lower engine rpm.” Additionally, the increased energy recuperation the BISG to provide 10 PS (10 hp or 7 kW) of electric assistance to temporarily increase peak power.
Such a setup isn’t new for the Puma, but on the ST Powershift variant, you get 170 PS (168 hp or 125 kW) and 248 Nm. The non-ST version of the Puma with a mild hybrid powertrain manages as much as 155 PS (153 hp or 114 kW) and 240 Nm – the gains are down to tweaks to the powertrain software and higher recharging capability of the mild hybrid system.
However, the Puma ST Powershift’s figures are still far from the manual variant, but the main appeal is the standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Ford says its new offering takes 7.4 seconds to get from 0-100 km/h, which is 1.6 seconds quicker than the ST-Line, but 0.7 seconds slower than the 200 PS Puma ST with a manual.
Aside from the powertrain, the rest of the Puma ST Powershift is identical to its more powerful sibling as it sports the same force vectoring springs, Hitachi twin-tube frequency-reactive dampers, thicker anti-roll bars and twist-beam rear axle. There’s also a quicker steering ratio, stronger brakes, and active exhaust valve.
The styling is identical too, although there’s a new Azura Blue colour for 2023. Standard equipment includes the 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a wireless charging pad, sport seats upholstered in Sensico synthetic leather, parking sensors and the Ford MegaBox under the boot floor.
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