The original 1997 Ford Puma was a fun, tiny, Europe-only two-door from a time when Ford Europe was obsessed with cat-like design cues. It even won Top Gear’s Car of the Year award. The new Puma will be a compact crossover, which will be like the original, only without any promise that it will be fun.
Ford’s Romanian Facebook account has shared a teaser of the upcoming Fiesta-based Puma crossover, which is scheduled to be fully revealed on June 26:
It’s on the Romanian Facebook because the Puma will be built in the city of Craiova alongside the Ford EcoSport for the European market.
But let me tell you about the original Ford Puma. Here’s how What Car? explains the appeal of the car: “The Puma takes the already good Fiesta underpinnings and hones them until they’re as sharp and agile as a barrister’s brain. You get almost kart-like steering, terrific roadholding, strong brakes and a fantastic gearshift.”
When the car went on sale, Ford even marketed it with reused footage of Steve McQueen in Bullitt:
And now, not only is the old Puma on a sad list of cars seemingly going extinct in the UK, but its name is being transplanted onto another new crossover designed to squeeze between Ford’s other existing crossovers.
Even if the new crossover sort of looks like the old Puma, which is a small comfort, it will never match the fun quality of the original.
The whole thing is just a giant red flag for where Ford’s intentions are at, as part of a trend of the original Mercury/Ford Cougar sports car becoming the Ford Kuga crossover in Europe already, and with that weird upcoming Mustang-inspired “Mach 1” electric crossover thing looming in our future.
Will God forgive us?