The wraps will come off much-loved Ford Fiesta ST's high-riding sibling in September, though an Australian launch remains unconfirmed.
Ford has teased an ST-badged performance version of its Puma small SUV, ahead of its scheduled unveiling on September 24.
A short video was posted by the Blue Oval’s European arm to its social media pages, showcasing the performance crossover’s array of sporty interior and exterior design changes.
Standout Ford Puma ST tweaks show in the teaser include large alloy wheels and wider front wheel arches, along with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and carbon-fibre-look dashboard trim.
While the video gives away little in terms of the Puma ST’s overall exterior design, an undisguised green example – likely the car featured in the teaser video – spotted during an official photo shoot in July (via British magazine Autocar) reveals more of what we can expect to see.
Among the highlights are a mild sports body kit consisting of black-accented front air intake surrounds, a body-coloured rear diffuser, wide wheel arch flares, black mirror caps, new side skirts and a larger rear roof spoiler, plus dual exhaust tips and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The video provides a glimpse of the Puma ST’s warbly exhaust note, which is reminiscent of the tone produced by the related Fiesta ST hot hatch’s 147kW/290Nm, 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine.
MORE: Puma pricing and specs
The front-wheel-drive Fiesta’s six-speed manual is expected to carry over to the hot crossover as the sole transmission option – a move that, despite Australia’s thirst for both SUVs and performance cars, may see the Puma ST ruled out for our market, given slipping demand for manuals Down Under.
Chassis upgrades are likely to include lower, stiffer sports suspension, larger brakes, sticky performance tyres and a limited-slip front differential, complemented by an assortment of selectable drive modes and launch control.
Inside, the Puma ST’s interior is expected to mirror that of its Fiesta ST sibling, featuring Recaro sports seats, ST badging, and the aforementioned flat-bottomed steering wheel and carbon-look trim.
The 2021 Ford Puma ST will make its full debut on September 24, but an Australian launch remains unconfirmed.
If it does come here, expect the Puma ST to enter with a price tag markedly higher than the $35,540 (plus on-road costs) Ford is already asking for the current top-spec variant, the 92kW/170Nm ST-Line.
Ford Performance fans could, of course, go instead for the $31,990 Fiesta ST hatch.
(Editor's note: An Australian launch for the regular Puma range is expected to occur in late September.)