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Could it happen? Ford's CEO wishes the Puma ST was sold in the U.S.

Ford didn't initially design the Puma to make its way to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Jim Farley is Ford Motor Company's CEO. He's only had the job for a few months so it's understandable if he doesn't quite understand the power he has. So, when Farley tweeted on February 15 that he wished that the new Ford Puma ST was available in North America, he received a lot of replies that read a lot like, "I think I know a guy..."

Let's take a closer look at the Puma, try to figure out what it would replace in the Ford lineup, and see whether or not it could feasibly make its way to the U.S.

2022 Ford Puma ST The Ford Puma ST is the most high-performance Puma you can buy.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2022 Ford Puma ST

What is the Ford Puma?

The Ford Puma is a compact crossover that was introduced in Europe for the 2020 model year. Its name comes from the Puma compact coupé, which was produced for Europe from 1997 to 2002.

The Puma is sold in four trim levels in Europe: Titanium, ST Line,, Vignale, and ST. The base Titanium model is pretty well equipped, but the Puma ST offers the best performance. The Puma ST is truly designed to be a hot hatch.

How big is the Ford Puma?

It's based on the same platform that the Ford Fiesta is built on meaning that they're both small by European standards and downright tiny by U.S. standards. The Fiesta fits two adults comfortably in the first row but the rear seat is best left to small children. The Puma is slightly bigger meaning that average-sized adults can sit there, albeit with the feeling of being a bit stuffed into a small space.

2022 Ford Puma ST

The Ford Puma is smaller than the Ford EcoSport, Kuga, Escape, Explorer, and Expedition.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

How does the Ford Puma compare to the Ford EcoSport?

The difference between the Ford Puma and Ford EcoSport is the same as the difference between the BMW X2 and BMW X3. The Puma and X2 are solidly in the crossover category while the Ford EcoSport and BMW X3 ride higher like more traditional SUVs.

The EcoSport has a slightly longer wheelbase than the Puma but the Puma is nearly six inches longer. EcoSport wins on width, being six inches wider than the Puma.

Front row Puma occupants have about the same amount of head- and shoulder room as they would in the EcoSport, but they are able to take advantage of nearly two more inches of legroom.

The Puma has substantially less cargo room than the EcoSport, both behind the second-row and with the rear seats stowed.

2022 Ford Puma ST

The interior of the Ford Puma ST features design choices to make it look street racing-ready.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Will Ford get rid of the EcoSport in the U.S. and replace it with the Puma?

Despite being widely panned by critics, the Ford EcoSport sells reasonably well in the U.S. The automaker sold 60,545 of them in 2020. That's about how many Nissan Kicks that were sold and 18,000 more than the total of Toyota CH-Rs that were purchased during the same time period.

Still, the EcoSport has a way to go to catch up to its chief rivals like the Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Kia Soul.

As good as those sell, some even smaller SUVs are selling better, like the Chevrolet Trax. However, those models are priced low, under $20,000 to start in many cases. In the U.K., the Puma is priced to start at around $30,000 USD. That price tag wouldn't fly in the States. Even with a $25,000 starting price, the Puma would start to have fierce competition from the larger and much more popular compact SUV segment.

2022 Ford Puma ST

The Ford Puma ST is a true hot hatch.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Then there's the dimensions. Americans are, generally, larger than Europeans. A car that is six inches narrower than the Ford EcoSport is quite compact by modern U.S. standards.

While there is room in the lineup, for now at least, the answer seems to be no, the EcoSport will likely not be replaced by the Puma, nor will the Puma be added to the offerings at U.S. dealerships.

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The Bronco will get two new colors for 2022.

Ford

The new Ford Bronco was in such high demand that buyers were in for a long wait, even before the pandemic and microchip shortages wreaked havoc on automotive supply chains and production. Even now, with little hope of a speedy vehicle delivery, buyers are still lining up to get the new SUV, and to reward those whose dreams will have to wait until 2022, Ford is debuting two new colors: Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic.


2022 Ford Bronco Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic will be available. Ford


Ford revealed the colors at this year's Woodward Dream Cruise. The first-generation Bronco, which ran from 1966 through 1977, was the featured vehicle at the cruise, which presented the opportunity to introduce new colors for the upcoming model year. The two new colors won't join the Bronco's existing color catalog until order banks open for the new model year later in 2021. Ford says that the current color catalog which includes Antimatter Blue, Lightning Blue Metallic, and Rapid Red Metallic will be available through the end of the 2021 model year.


2022 Ford Bronco Many Bronco buyers will have to wait until 2022 to get their new SUV.Ford


The new colors may end up being the shades of choice for many current hopeful Bronco buyers. Along with pandemic-related delays, Ford's rollout of the new Bronco has been plagued by hardtop-related cosmetic issues. The problem is big enough for the automaker to replace the top of every hardtop Bronco built so far. This includes vehicles already purchased, the rare few sitting on dealers' lots, and even recently produced vehicles still hanging around the factory. Buyers still waiting for their Broncos to be built will be waiting a while, to the point that Ford says many orders will be pushed into the new model year. Ford is offering Bronco-related merchandise and promises a price lock for all buyers whose orders have been pushed, and now it appears they'll have two new colors to choose from as well.

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Three two-women teams will compete in a new Bronco or Bronco Sport.

Ford

As the pandemic ramped up last summer, auto event organizers were canceling left and right to avoid gathering groups of people to spread the virus. A few events went on, especially outdoor racing events such as the Rebelle Rally. The all-woman off-road event covers desert terrain in Nevada and California, and this year Ford Motor Company is sending three teams to compete in different versions of the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs.

All three teams will compete in some sort of Bronco SUV. Shelby Hall and Penny Dale, who drive a Bronco Sport in last year's Rebelle Rally, return to the competition in 2021, this time with a Bronco two-door. Pro off-roaders Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen will pilot a Bronco Sport in the X-cross class and novice racers Kathryn Reinhardt and Victoria Bundrant from accessory supplier 4Wheel Parts will drive a four-door Bronco in the 4x4 class.


2021 Rebelle Rally Two Broncos and a Bronco Sport will compete. Ford


The Bronco Sport and Bronco four-door are both Badlands models. The two-door Bronco is a Wildtrak model. All of the SUVs have been decked out in special Bronco 4600-inspired race livery. The two-door Bronco will enter the competition equipped with the Sasquatch package, but will otherwise retain is factory stock configuration. The Bronco Sport will also remain stock, other than having its back seat removed. Ford says the 4Wheel Parts team will accessorize the four-door Bronco.

The Rebelle Rally is the first women's off-road navigation rally in the United States. Teams are not allowed to use electronic maps, such as in-dash navigation or mapping tools built into smartphones. Ford says its teams will disable the features in the Broncos they'll be driving in the event.


2021 Rebelle Rally The Bronco Sport will remain stock, but will have its back seats removed.Ford

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