Ford is getting ready to introduce an electric version of its entry-level Puma crossover in 2024, and this looks set to coincide with a facelift of the combustion-powered model.
This is either a subtle facelift or a particularly early prototype, as the tail lights appear unaltered. The production version may feature different light graphics, though their shape may remain unchanged.
Camouflage obscures details up front, but the headlights, grille and bumper appear to have been restyled.
A teaser of the upcoming Puma EV, due in Australia in 2024, shows unique LED daytime running light signatures, and it’s unclear if these will also be carried over to the facelifted combustion-powered vehicle.
The spied prototype evidently isn’t an EV, given the visible exhaust outlets. Expect the EV to be distinguished, as other rival ICE-based EVs are, through a unique grille and other subtle touches.
Interestingly, a glimpse through the side window reveals the centre air vents up front have been moved up and there’s no tablet-style infotainment touchscreen.
If Ford has moved the infotainment touchscreen down and given it a more integrated look, that would be quite unusual for a vehicle in 2023. We’ll have to wait for closer photos to draw conclusions.
Regardless, we’d expect the latest generation of Ford’s Sync infotainment system – Sync 4 – and potentially a larger screen than the current 8.0-inch unit.
Apart from gaining an electric powertrain, it’s unclear what else is in store for the 2024 Puma mechanically.
In Europe, it’s currently offered with 93kW/170Nm and 116kW/190Nm tunes of the turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which feature a 48V mild-hybrid system.
The Australian-market Puma has a 92kW/170Nm turbo 1.0-litre, without a mild-hybrid system, while some markets also offer a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel four with 88kW and 285Nm.
The European-market ST Powershift features a 48V mild-hybrid 1.0-litre turbo-three pot with 125kW of power and 248Nm, mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the ST uses a 1.5-litre turbo three-pot with 147kW and 320Nm, mated with a six-speed manual.
With Ford Australia retiring the Escape this year, the Puma will be the Blue Oval’s only sub-$50,000 SUV here – though we’d expect the electric model to push beyond the current range-topping ST-Line V’s $36,390 sticker price.
Ford sold 2408 Pumas in Australia last year, putting it above the rival Nissan Juke (1084) and Renault Captur (1207) but behind rivals like the Volkswagen T-Cross (5146), Toyota Yaris Cross (8432), and the dominant (if ageing) Mazda CX-3 (11,907).
MORE: Everything Ford Puma