Ford Is Bringing Back the Puma But Now It's a Lame Crossover

Photo: Ford

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.

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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.

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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.

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Will God forgive us?

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