The Ford Puma is getting a mid-life refresh, set to coincide with the introduction of a new electric version.
It’s expected to debut in 2024.
Unlike previous spy photos, which appeared to depict an ST Powershift complete with red brake calipers, this appears to be a tamer cat – likely with a lower output version of the Puma’s turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.
The pint-sized Puma is getting a refreshed front end, with revisions to the headlights, grille and front bumper.
Down back, this prototype appears to feature the current tail lights, but this could change with the production model. We can also expect to see other minor revisions back here, like a restyled bumper.
While there are no clear photos of the interior, previous photos have given us a little glimpse at the changes in store.
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.
Ford is set to introduce the electric version of the Puma next year, which will arrive in Australia during the second half of 2024.
It has yet to be spied testing, and Ford has released only a single, shadowy teaser revealing its daytime running lights. It’s unclear if this DRL signature will be shared with petrol Pumas.
We don’t yet know if there will be mechanical changes for the combustion-powered Puma.
In Europe, the Puma is 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.
To the end of September, Ford Australia has sold 1587 Pumas. That puts it ahead of the Nissan Juke (873 sales) and Renault Captur (862 sales), but below key rivals like the Volkswagen T-Cross (4523 sales) and dominant Mazda CX-3 (12,239 sales).