Made in Romania: Ford launches first Performance SUV in Europe, built in Craiova - video & photo gallery
US carmaker Ford officially launched the new Ford Puma ST, its first Performance SUV in Europe, on Thursday, September 24. The Puma ST is built at Ford’s factory in Craiova, southern Romania. This model is the most powerful car ever made in Romania, and Ford has chosen the breathtaking high-altitude road Transfagarasan as the stage for the first ride (see video at the end of this article).
The new Ford Puma ST delivers 200 PS, 6.7-second 0-100 km/h acceleration, unique-in-segment mechanical LSD option, and drive modes from Eco to Track for ultimate versatility.
“Enhanced with sophisticated Sports Technologies including a unique-in-segment limited-slip differential (LSD) option and patented force vectoring springs, Puma ST also features selectable Drive Modes including Sport mode and – for the first time on a Ford Performance vehicle – Eco mode; providing drivers with options for a wide range of road driving scenarios,” reads Ford’s description of this new model.
The Puma ST is powered by a 200 PS 1.5‑litre EcoBoost engine delivering 0‑100 km/h (0‑62 mph) acceleration in 6.7 seconds. An optimized chassis features bespoke twist-beam, anti-roll bar, and damper configurations. Steering responses are 25 percent faster, and brakes are 17 percent larger than on the standard Puma. Specially-developed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires also help deliver the most agile Ford SUV driving experience yet.
The model combines performance enhancements and aggressive styling. Its features include bold sports styling in exclusive Mean Green, 19-inch alloys, and Recaro seats. The Puma ST also offers Local Hazard Information connected-car technology and the Ford MegaBox that provides 80 liters of storage beneath the boot floor for everyday practicality.
“Real driving enthusiasts aren’t going to settle for less excitement just because life demands a more ‘sensible’ car, so our number one priority was that the Puma ST had to be as exhilarating and capable as every ST model, without sacrificing any of Puma’s practicality,” said Stefan Muenzinger, Ford Performance manager, Europe. “We believe that we have the best-handling small SUV in its segment. It really does feel connected and has the true ST feel. It is a joy to drive.”
To mark the public debut of the Puma ST, the Ford team filmed the car on the emblematic Transfagarasan. The Puma ST will be exhibited for the first time on the esplanade at Cluj Arena, at the Transilvania Rally 2020 event organized this weekend in Cluj-Napoca.
Ford started the production of its new Puma SUV model at Craiova in early October 2019, after a new investment of about EUR 200 million in the factory. In May this year, Ford announced it would also produce luxury and sports versions of the Puma model. The factory in Craiova also produces the EcoSport small SUV.
(Photo source: Ford)