Ford Puma ST hybrid prototype spotted at the Nurburgring

Hot crossover appears to be on the way for electric assistance, potentially increasing its output to 200bhp

Ford appears to be testing a hybrid version at the Nurburgring of its hot Puma ST, which could mean a more efficient and powerful powertrain option.

The car was seen with ST-Line badges, but it also had many of the unique design features that are exclusive to full-fat STs, such as its alloy wheels and bumpers, and red brake calipers.

A yellow sticker at the rear windshield indicates that there is a hybrid element within the powertrain. The charging flap was not visible, so it is possible that the powertrain could be plug-in. This means that the test model was either a full hybrid or mild-hybrid setup. This is likely because the Puma does not come with the 2.0-litre Ford engine that is standard on all full-hybrid Ford vehicles.

The current standard Puma comes with a mild-hybridised Ecoboost triple producing 120bhp. However, the Puma ST has yet to be offered with an electrified powertrain.

The current model has 197bhp. A move to hybrid power could push the model past the 200bhp mark while improving economy figures.

Already, the performance crossover will receive a hybrid powertrain for motorsport in accordance with new World Rally Championship regulations 2022. All competing cars will be equipped with hybrid engines.

Ford’s WRC-based WRC racer is built in partnership by M-Sport and Cumbria-based racing engineering firm M-Sport. It’s powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine and a 134bhp motor. This makes it far more powerful than the road-going model.