Ford Puma

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Ford Puma
English Ford Puma.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1997–2001
Assembly Cologne, Germany
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 3-door coupé
Layout FF layout
Platform Ford B platform
Related Ford Fiesta
Powertrain
Engine Ford Zetec-SE
Transmission 5-speed IB5 Manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,446 mm (96.3 in)
Length 3,984 mm (156.9 in)
Width 1,837 mm (72.3 in)
Height 1,315 mm (51.8 in)
Kerb weight 1,035–1,039 kg (2,282–2,291 lb)

The Ford Puma was a small sports coupé produced by the Ford Motor Company from 1997 to 2001 (although some were first registered in the UK as late as 2002),[1] for sale in Europe. The Puma was built exclusively at Ford's Niehl plant in Cologne, Germany.

The cost for a new Puma in the UK from a dealer was between £12,280 - £22,945 depending on the accessories, styling and model chosen.[2]

Technical details[edit]

1.7L Zetec-S VCT engine in a 1999 Ford Puma

All Pumas are front-engined, front-wheel-drive, 3-door coupés with 4 seats. They came with 15-inch (380 mm) alloy wheels as standard, (although the Ford Racing Puma was equipped with 17-inch (430 mm) alloy wheels), with front disc and rear drum brakes. The car was based on the Mark 4 Ford Fiesta, with new engines (codeveloped with Yamaha), a new body, stiffer suspension and close-ratio gearbox, among other changes.

The Puma was available with four engine options: 1.4 litre (1997-2000), 1.6 litre (2000-2001), 1.7 litre VCT, and the Tickford tuned 1.7 litre VCT which was only used in the Ford Racing Puma,[3] each of which used Ford's 16v Sigma engines branded as Zetec-SE. Additionally, the 1.7-litre engines used Nikasil cylinder plating, which required a specific grade of oil (5W30 semi-synthetic) to minimise mechanical wear.

All 1.7-litre-engined Pumas were equipped with low speed traction control and anti-lock brakes. The anti-lock braking system was optional in the 1.4 Puma.

Engines[edit]

Engine[4][5] Power Torque 0–100 km/h Top speed
1.4 (1388 cm³) 16V 91 PS (67 kW; 90 hp) @5500 rpm 125 N·m (92 lb·ft) 10.8 s 180 km/h (112 mph)
1.6 (1596 cm³) 16V 104 PS (76 kW; 103 hp) @6000 rpm 145 N·m (107 lb·ft) 10.1 s 190 km/h (118 mph)
1.7 (1679 cm³) 16V VCT 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp) @6300 rpm 157 N·m (116 lb·ft) 9.2 s 203 km/h (126 mph)
1.7 (1679 cm³) 16V VCT 155 PS (114 kW; 153 hp) @7000 rpm 162 N·m (119 lb·ft) 7.9 s 203 km/h (126 mph)

Special edition variants in United Kingdom markets[edit]

Millennium[edit]

Quantity Produced: 1000

Quantity Remaining: 597 as of Q2 2013[6]

Years available: 1999(V) to 2000(X)

The Ford Millennium Edition cars were produced to commemorate the Millennium Products Award from the Design Council [7] in 1999 for being 'The first Ford in Britain designed solely on computer and in record time.' The Millennium Edition Puma featured eye catching Zinc Yellow paintwork, and an 'Alchemy Blue' (dark/navy blue) leather interior with Recaro seats. A numbered badge and keyring were available upon purchase from Ford, but the cars were not automatically numbered.

The Ford Ka and Ford Focus also received the same award, and were also produced in the same quantity and paintwork, but with a black leather interior.

Black[edit]

Quantity Produced: 1600

Quantity Remaining: 1,126 as of Q2 2013[8]

Years available: 2000(X) to 2001(51)

The Puma Black featured a 'Midnight Black' (dark grey) leather interior, Panther Black paintwork and Ford's 'F1' style alloys. The original quantity of the Puma Black was meant to be only 1000, but as the edition proved to be popular, an additional 600 were produced.

Thunder[edit]

Quantity Produced: 1000 each in Moondust Silver and Magnum Grey

Quantity Remaining: 1,595 as of Q2 2013[9]

Years available: 2000(X) to 2002(52)

These were among the final 2000 pumas produced. Although Moondust Silver was available throughout the whole of the puma's production run, Magnum Grey was only available on the Thunder Edition. All of the Thunder editions featured a 'Midnight Black' (dark grey) leather interior, 6 disc CD changer and multispoke alloys similar to those featured on the Fiesta Zetec-S.

Ford Racing Puma (FRP)[edit]

Ford Racing Puma

Quantity Produced: 500 (all numbered on inlet manifold)

Years available: 1999(V) to 2001(51)

The Ford Racing Puma was the name eventually given to Ford's concept Puma, The Puma RS which was first unveiled to the public at the 1999 Geneva Motorshow.[10] At the time Ford were keen to stress that this was no mere styling job and the idea was to transfer the know-how and technology learned directly from Ford Puma race and rally programmes to a road car. It was created by the Ford Rally specialist team at Boreham. The strictly limited production run was initially pencilled to run for 1000 units, with 500 destined for the German market, and 500 for the UK. All conversions were carried out by Tickford, Daventry UK.[11] In the end, only the 500 destined for the UK market were produced and sold.

Less than half of the 500 cars were actually sold directly to customers, with the vehicle's high price (£23,000 when new) often cited as a reason, as rival performance cars such as the Subaru Impreza (with an additional 50+ BHP/Turbo, 4 Wheel Drive and rallying pedigree) were being offered for a maximum of £21,000 with the optional Pro Drive pack. The lower than anticipated demand saw Ford offering Racing Pumas to senior managers through their MRC scheme, which enabled cars to continue being registered and converted. The lack of demand when brand new has actually paid off in the longer-term, as the rarity of the Racing Puma has allowed it to maintain an increased value over the standard Puma.


Racing[edit]

Rallying[edit]

Ford Puma rally car Group B (Andrew Costin-Hurley and Bryan Hull) at Trax 2006

In 2008, Luke Pinder raced the R2 class of the British Rally Championship in a Super 1400 Ford Puma.[12]

Ford produced a Ford Puma Kit Car which was designed specifically for rallying. The Puma's technical details included a Zetec SE all alloy engine with 4 cylinders and 16 valves at 1596 cc, power over 200 bhp (150 kW) at 9000 rpm, front wheel drive via a Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox, limited slip differential, dynamic front suspension using MacPherson struts with adjustable spring platforms, Ford Racing rear trailing arm beam with adjustable dynamic suspension, Alcon front brakes with 355 mm (14.0 in) diameter ventilated discs using four-piston calipers, Alcon 260 mm (10 in) diameter solid disc rear brakes with two piston calipers, a welded steel safety roll cage, and front and rear wheel arches and bumpers in composite. The fuel tank was a 55 litre capacity FIA ‘bag’ tank located beneath rear floor. Wheels were Tarmac 7” x 17” aluminium wheels or 6” x 15” aluminium wheels for gravel.[13]

Style and advertising[edit]

Puma interior at night

Stylistically, the Puma followed Ford's New Edge design strategy, as first seen in the 1996 Ford Ka. While not as controversial as the Ka when it first appeared, the Puma did achieve critical acclaim for its well-proportioned and cat-like design cues.

The Puma was memorable for its pan-European launch campaign that featured Steve McQueen. The original UK television advertisement used clips from the movie Bullitt and cut McQueen into the modern setting of a Puma in San Francisco. In late 2004, Ford once again used the McQueen footage for the first 2005 Ford Mustang commercial in the U.S. Both commercials were directed by UK Director Paul Street, and won many advertising industry awards, featuring in all time top 10 ad charts.

Discontinuation[edit]

The Puma was only sold in Europe. Production ended in 2001 although sale of stock vehicles continued into 2002. Ford did not replace it with another small coupé, and instead introduced the Ford StreetKa, a two-seater convertible based on the Fiesta just as the Puma was. The StreetKa also borrowed the Puma's transmission and suspension. There are still 42,748 road legal Pumas in the UK as of 2011.[14]

Next generation rumours[edit]

A number of rumours have circulated about the launch of a new Puma; firstly after the Reflex concept car was shown in the Detroit Motor Show in 2006,[15] and in 2010[16] but Ford have not announced another small coupé for any market.

Awards[edit]

  • 1997 - Named Top Gear's car of the year for 'the incredible feeling and driving sensation.' [17]
  • 1999 - Design Council Millennium Products award for 'The first Ford in Britain designed solely on computer and in record time.'
  • 2001 - What Car's Used Sports Car Of The Year- Ford Puma 1.7
  • 2004 - What Car's Best Used Sporting Car of the Year Under £10,000 - Ford Puma 1.7[18]
  • 2011 - What Car's Best 'Gem for under £1000' - Ford Puma 1.7

See also[edit]

Opel Tigra - a similar small sports coupé produced by Opel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Ford Puma (97-02) Car Review - Summary". Parkers. 1997-01-01. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  3. ^ Dawe, Jason (2004-08-08). "Ford Puma review | Used Car Reviews | Driving". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  4. ^ "Search on "ford puma"". carfolio.com. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Ford Puma (97-02) Performance - Facts and Figures". Parkers. 1997-01-01. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  6. ^ Olly Smith. "Ford Puma Millennium - How Many Left?". Howmanyleft.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  7. ^ "Design Council website". 
  8. ^ Olly Smith. "FORD PUMA BLACK - How Many Left?". Howmanyleft.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  9. ^ Olly Smith. "FORD PUMA THUNDER - How Many Left?". Howmanyleft.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  10. ^ "1999 FRP @ Geneva Motorshow". 
  11. ^ "Tickford Build the Racing Puma". 
  12. ^ "Luke Pinder web site". Lukepinder.com. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  13. ^ "Ford Puma S1600 Rally Car Technical Info". Gorallyschool.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  14. ^ Olly Smith. "Combined stats (6 models) FORD PUMA - How Many Left?". Howmanyleft.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  15. ^ "Reborn Puma Set To Pounce". Auto Express article. 2006-01-10. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  16. ^ "Ford's Baby Cat is getting ready to pounce". Auto Express article. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  17. ^ Video: Top Gear Car Of The Year 1997 feature MPEG video featuring Tiff Needell driving a Ford Puma
  18. ^ "Best Used Sporting Car of the Year 2004". What Car. 2004-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 

External links[edit]