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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Dealer opens ‘pre-order’ bookings for Ford Puma

Since deleted pre-order booking post doesn't reference the Puma's final price tag.

The emergence this week of a report all but confirming the long awaited Ford Puma for South Africa from October this year, has gone up a notch by a post on social media by a dealership already accepting pre-bookings.

The pre-order was advertised by a Johannesburg-based dealership on Facebook, with only limited details on the release.

Upon enquiring, the dealer told The Citizen two derivatives have been approved for South Africa. It said the vehicle would be available in the next few months and units would be limited.

It came as cars.co.za, citing “separate trusted sources” reported a fourth-quarter date-of-reveal had been set aside for the Puma’s debut in South Africa as the replacement for the EcoSport that has been on run-out ever since the closure last year of the Chennai Plant in India.

Ford Puma coming to South Africa
A social post announcing pre-order bookings for the new Ford Puma. Image: Facebook.

The wait is over

Revived in 2019 as a small SUV rather than a second-generation version of the two-door coupe made between 1997 and 2002, the Puma has since its unveiling, been a runaway success for the Blue Oval with global sales last year of 144 700 units, a jump of two percent over 2021.

ALSO READ: Ford Puma leaps into battle

Set to officially replace the Fiesta, whose production run ended in July after seven generations, 47 years and sales of 22-million units, the Puma has remained forbidden fruit for South Africa ever since its unveiling due in part the Blue Oval’s focus on the Indian-made EcoSport.

EcoSport replacement

While the EcoSport has remained in production for certain European markets, production originates from the Craiova Plant in Romania, which ironically, also manufactures the Puma for global markets.

In the case of South Africa, only the entry-level Ambiente versions of the EcoSport came from Chennai whereas the pricier EcoBoost-powered Trend and Titanium were all sourced from Craiova.

What to expect

Despite pricing being unknown, cars.co.za projected it as starting at around R580 000.

Ford Puma coming to South Africa
Puma will officially replace the EcoSport in South Africa. Image: Ford.

The Puma will take prominence below the Mustang and Everest as the Blue Oval’s only other passenger vehicle sold in South Africa.

In Europe, power is derived exclusively from the multi-award winning three-cylinder 1.0 EcoBoost engine in three states of tune; 70kW/170Nm, 92kW/170Nm and 114kW/240Nm. A 48-volt mild-hybrid system can additionally be specified on the latter pair.

Dealer opens pre-booking for Ford Puma
Being based on the Fiesta means the Puma’s interior is almost identical in design. Image: Ford.

On the transmission front, a six-speed manual or a seven-speed Powershift dual-clutch are entrusted with sending the amount of twist to the front axle.

Reportedly, only the latter ‘box has been approved hooked to the mid-range engine option that once powered the Fiesta.

Dealer opens pre-booking for Ford Puma
Puma ST is unlikely to made available on local soil. Image: Ford.

Not mentioned and therefore unlikely to be offered, is the performance Puma ST that debuted towards end of 2020.

Now very much an open secret, expectations are that more details will be revealed over the coming weeks.

NOW READ: Ford EcoSport stays put in South Africa as Chennai Plant builds last model

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