The revival of the Ford Puma nameplate was announced earlier this year, but now it looks like the brand might be preparing a hot Puma ST version of the new compact SUV

Though this Puma testing mule pictured on the Nurburgring is heavily disguised, features like the large alloy wheels and the twin chrome exhaust pipes hint that this is something significantly more sporty than the Puma teasers we’ve seen so far.

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The new Puma will be a compact B-segment crossover on the same platform as the Fiesta, designed to rival the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur. It’ll arrive to coincide with the launch of the Skoda Kamiq, too.

If what we are looking at is indeed an ST version of the new Puma, it will share much of its mechanicals with one of our favourite hot hatchbacks – the Fiesta ST

That means under the bonnet we expect a 1.5-litre turbocharged three cylinder petrol engine with 197bhp. In the Fiesta ST, it covers the 0-62mph sprint in 6.5 seconds, so expect a time of just under seven for the larger Puma. Like the Fiesta ST, the Puma ST should send its drive to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

A raft of chassis upgrades should also help the Puma feel almost as sharp in the bends as its Fiesta stablemate. The car in these spy images runs at a fairly low ride height by SUV standards, though the set-up is likely to be a litltle more forgiving than the Fiesta ST’s. 

The Puma ST will occupy what is currently a fairly unique place in the market. The likes of the Volkswagen T-Roc R and Audi SQ2 are larger, more powerful and offer four wheel drive, while Nissan’s Nismo Juke RS is long out of production. 

The regular Puma is due to be released in 2020, so if Ford goes ahead with an ST badged variant, we can expect it to follow later next year.

Are you excited by a potential Ford Puma ST arrival? Let us know your thoughts below…

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