Ford's new Puma crossover (and don't even get us started on whether Ford should or should not be recycling that name) hasn't even gone on sale yet, but already the Blue Oval is rolling out the higher trim levels.
High-spec trim for the new Puma
This, the Puma Titanium-X (which is itself another old Ford badge brought back to life) gets some seriously high spec to try and tempt in buyers who might otherwise go for a premium brand. The Puma Titanium-X will be shown at next week's Frankfurt motor show.
"Just like the new Ford Puma ST-Line X that we unveiled earlier this year, our new Puma Titanium X model has a distinctive character all of its own," said Roelant de Waard, Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. "Standard technologies usually reserved for large executive cars deliver exceptional comfort for compact crossover customers."
48-volt mild-hybrid system
On the technical front, the Puma Titanium-X will get the same 1.0-litre EcoBoost mild-hybrid engine as the ST-Line model we've already seen. Ford claims that it will return 124g/km of CO2 and 5.4 litres per 100km fuel economy for the 125hp version, and 127g/km of CO2 and 5.6 litres per 100km fuel for the 155hp model.
The 48-volt system uses a tiny lithium-ion battery to assist the engine, and Ford estimates that it can help to save as much as nine per cent off your fuel bills, compared to a conventional engine.
Removable seat covers
Inside, Ford seems to be very proud of its new removable, washable seat covers, which it says: "Will help customers keep their premium interior feeling like new." You can apparently unzip the covers with one hand, whip them off, and stuff them in your washing machine (Ford has not yet recommended on which cycle, but we're going to take a guess at a 30-degree synthetics wash with a gentle spin). Needless to say, Ford will offer a wide range of aftermarket seat covers to further upgrade and personalise your Puma.
The rest of the interior features high-end finishes and trims, including a 'leather-effect' steering wheel, wood-effect trim, and nice fabric on the doors. "We wanted Puma Titanium X to feel as welcoming and comfortable as being at home, so we used colours, finishes and an overall interior execution that would reflect that environment," said Sonja Vandenberk, Chief Designer, Colour and Materials, Ford of Europe.
For smartphone lovers, the Puma Titanium-X comes with a wireless charging pad, two USB slots, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connections (which Ford wants to point out is free - some car makers are starting to charge annual fees for those), and a 575-watt, 10-speaker B&O sound system.
Also included are dual zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, and rear parking sensors. Oh, and don't forget the 18-inch, 10-spoke Pearl Grey alloy wheels. The exterior also gets high-gloss black trim and chrome for the grille, plus special side skirts and rear diffuser.
Long list of safety kit
Safety equipment includes lane keeping steering with the new 'Road Edge Detector', pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, and a new Local Hazard Warning System, that communicates remotely with other cars and traffic management systems to warn of dangers up ahead. "Puma is offered with an unprecedented array of technology for its segment," said Norbert Steffens, Puma Chief Programme Engineer. "Features from wireless charging to Stop & Go are designed to fit seamlessly into owners' lives and make driving Puma an effortless and intuitive experience."
Ford is also touting the Puma's practicality, with its 456-litre boot, and the 'MegaBox' underfloor storage system that allows tall, narrow items to be carried upright in the cargo space. It's designed to be hose-out washable too, so you can store muddy shoes or sports kit down there. "Throughout the development process, our goal was to deliver an unprecedented degree of practicality in a compact and efficient package," Steffens said. "Puma's unique Ford MegaBox and parcel shelf are examples of the innovative thinking that have helped us deliver flexibility without compromising the Puma Titanium X model's exclusive and seductive style."