Ford Puma tipped to return as compact SUV

A new Ford Puma is reportedly being readied for launch as a compact SUV rival to the Hyundai Kona, Seat Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc.

The car – set to be announced this week as part of a raft of new model announcements by Ford, including the unveiling of the new Kuga – is tipped to be 4.2m long, suggesting it will be based on the Fiesta’s underpinnings and share engine and transmission options with that car.

As such, it would sit above the Ecosport but below the Kuga in Ford’s range. The new Puma’s existence was first reported by analyst firm Inovev and subsequently by Autocar India. The car is tipped to be built at Ford’s plant in Craiova, Romania.

Insiders have previously indicated that Ford of Europe’s only profitable vehicles are its SUV and van ranges, highlighting why the firm would be keen to expand the former line-up.

The Puma was originally launched as a Fiesta-based coupé in 1997 and remained on sale until 2002. In higher states of tune, and most notably as the Racing Puma, it was a highly regarded sports car, and its fanbase was enhanced by its use in the Junior World Rally Championship for drivers aspiring to follow the career of Colin McRae, who was a factory Ford driver for much of that period.