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FORD PUMA | The Cat’s Second Life

Ford sparked outrage earlier this year when they announced their new SUV for the ever-competitive B segment market. They called it The Puma. 

Many took to Twitter to voice their concerns and outrage for the car that had been in production for just 4 years. Judging by their profile pictures, the mass were still adolescents, never going to buy this car or more importantly, had not really known what the original Puma was or what its concept to production was all about.

Ford have, it would seem, stuck closely to that original premise of the original Puma. It was an adaption of the small Fiesta platform. It’s just this time, it happens to be in an SUV shape and style that is fashionable. Back in 1997, the coupe was fashionable. 

I’ll grant you, that the SUV is a bit “Christ not another” but this is what you, the motoring public apparently want. Small volume coupes are long in the tooth now and when developed, need cooperation between several groups. Let’s not mention Toyota and BMW. Fiat and Mazda. And yet, several years ago, joint cooperations were acceptable. Citroen and Maseratti for instance. 

And so, Puma is another SUV. From an exclusive unveiling at this years Goodwood festival of Speed, I can tell you that it is all rather stacking in its favour. I’ll admit, I’m not over keen on the SUV segment, but Ford design chief, Anko Leemants was on hand to show us around the design language he used within his team to get to where Puma is today.

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You could sit there, sceptical in mind when designers spout of familiar words to describe a design but Anko put it into perspective quite well. One of the key factors was its look being “optimistic” and it certainly has a young puppy dog expression about its face. It lacks the over used aggressive look that so many have used over the past decade.

In our times of change where we need to step back, consider the future and encourage kindness and love, set to the current backdrop of aggression and fierceness, this new look is greatly appreciated. There aren’t many cars out there at the moment that encourage you to look back and smile. 

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The rear pillars have a welcomed return to normality of softness instead up angry kick-ups. The front screen pillars are broken at the bottom to promote a sense of float in their design. 

The main premise it would appear is that the Puma has been designed to be “The Most Beautiful Car You Can Ever Own” Now I did stand back a bit too that claim. You can’t say the Puma doesn’t have a nice look about it, but the trouble with an SUV is that they are never going to be beautiful. Ignoring if I may, beauty is within the eye of the beholder, in this instance, my eyes, but the new SUV from Ford isn’t sleek and/or beautiful. Purposeful and cute, yes it is and that suits it well for the new crop of B segment players coming along.  

Another designer used word of the unveiling was that the Puma should be an Icon. Trouble is, as, with madonna and her latest offering, icons can have a tendency to fall from grace. Let’s hope the Puma doesn’t before its official launch in February 2020. On visual spec, it is rather eye-catching. Even the boot shuts are nicely painted. Let’s see how this all translates next year when it is available for road tests.   

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