2021 Ford Puma ST spy shots

Ford’s cooking up a new subcompact crossover based on its latest Fiesta—the one we don’t get here in the United States—that’s set for a reveal later in 2019.

The new crossover will go by the name Puma, and a prototype for the sporty ST version has been spotted at the Nürburgring.

Teaser for 2021 Ford Puma

Teaser for 2021 Ford Puma

We know the prototype is for a Puma ST because of its dual-tip exhaust, lowered suspension, and sporty wheels.

The ST version of the latest Fiesta is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 that generates a peak 197 horsepower. It sees the hot hatch reach 60 mph in a little over 6.0 seconds and we expect a similar powertrain and performance numbers for the Puma ST.

New Ford Fiesta ST

New Ford Fiesta ST

Other ST upgrades should include a driving modes selector, brake-based torque vectoring system, and electronic stability control whose severity will also have its own mode selector.

The standard Puma is confirmed with a mild-hybrid powertrain combining a 1.0-liter turbocharged inline-3 with a belt-driven motor-generator, with the setup good for 153 hp. Note, even though the vehicle is a crossover, we don’t expect it to come with all-wheel drive. Instead, front-wheel drive should be standard.

2021 Ford Puma ST spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2021 Ford Puma ST spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Production of the Puma will be handled at Ford’s plant in Craiova, Romania. The plant is where Ford builds the Ecosport for the European market, as well as a 1.0-liter engine. The Puma won’t serve as a replacement for the Ecosport as previously thought but will instead complement it as a more stylish urban runabout. Above the two subcompact offerings will sit the upcoming baby Bronco and Escape in the compact segment.

Should the Puma be approved for local sale, expect it to arrive in 2020 as a 2021 model. Potential rivals include the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, and the recently revealed Volkswagen T-Cross sold overseas.

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