Over here in Europe, the Ford Puma was a very popular car. A small 4 seater coupe based on the same front wheel drive chassis as the Fiesta, it was available with 4 engine variants;

1.4i 16v (88bhp)

1.6i 16v (101bhp)

1.7i 16v VCT (123bhp)

1.7i 16v VCT Ford Racing Edition (152bhp)

As far as the exterior is concerned, the only variant with any real differences, was the Ford Racing Edition of which only 500 were produced. Sporting amongst other things, flared wheelarches, 17" wheels, a large tailpipe, and huge brakes, this hot version was only ever available in Imperial Blue.

Other special editions were;

Black (Panther Black, 1.7i, Black leather interior

Millenium (Zinc Yellow, 1.7i, Black leather Recaro interior

Thunder (Moondust Silver or Magnum Grey, 1.7i, Black leather interior

All of the above came with most or all of the options available to Puma buyers, with the Thunder also recieving a 6 disc in-dash CD changer.

The engines used in the Puma, were essentially all one and the same. That being a Mazda designed engine, badged as a Zetec-SE by Ford. The 1.7i was further tuned by Yamaha, using the 1.6 block. Yamaha added the VCT (variable cam timing) on the inlet cam, amongst other tuning modifications such as a magnesium cam cover, and the boring out of the block. For the Ford Racing edition, this engine was then FURTHER tuned by Tickford, by adding uprated inlet and exhaust manifolds, cams, a remapped ECU (which raised the rev limit from 6800rpm to 7200rpm), a redesigned airbox and exhaust system.

The Puma is reknowned for being a fun to drive, sporty coupe, although for some reason it seems to have a reputation as being driven by girls, and middleaged men. Make no mistake however; in any guise, the Puma is a more than capable drivers car.

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