Another Zetec-S owner here.
I have to agree with the comment above - there is no way a Puma 1.7 will get close to a 330i. Even a Racing Puma would struggle, bearing in mind an automatic 330i will do 0-60 in under 7 seconds, and nearer 6 if it's a manual. They're seriously quick cars, as they should be with well over 200 bhp.
If you came up against one in the twisties, you could probably pull something out if you were prepared to drive your Puma like you stole it, but on anything remotely open or straight, forget it.
I own a Puma 1.7i VCT, and I reckon it is the finest sports car ever made!
The straight line speed is somewhere between a BMW 330i and an M3 evo, whilst the cornering is in a higher league!
Perhaps a Nissan Skyline or an Evo 8 might keep up on the bends, but the Puma's chassis is so pure that it manages these speeds without the complex electronics of the Jap cars.
I bought mine for £14,000 new in 1997 and I reckon I could sell it tomorrow for the same money or maybe even more!
Did you write the review of the 1988 Vauxhall Carlton 1.8i?
OK, I concede that a BMW 330i can be beaten by a Puma when ii is stuck in traffic, like the 2 you claimed to have raced were! Why not buy a VW Lupo TDi, you could still win these races and get over 70 mpg at the same time!
Please tell me which car is mid engined and front wheel drive, Id love to drive it, it must have loads of traction, NOT!
The comments from magazine tests involving Civic Type Rs are relative to the latest 200BHP hot hatches, not a 7 year old coupe aimed at ladies, which just happened to handle quite well due to its Mk4 Fiesta chassis. Trust me on this, you are very very misleading, if you mention a Civic type R in a Puma write up, its like comparing the York City reserve side with Real Madrid!
Every engine with a Zetec badge on it has been jointly developed by Ford and Yamaha, not just the 1.7i VCT. Their partnership has now ended and the engines are still built by Ford, but are labelled Duratec instead!
There is a new Puma available now, it's a bit of a boxy shape, but does the same job! It's a Fiesta underneath with a few changes, like jacked up suspension and price tag, with a silver painted dashboard, it called the Fusion, why not buy one, it too can pass an Enzo while it is parked in traffic!
I'm going off topic a bit. I'm 22 and have done the racer bit and recently have been trusted with having my 2 month old nephew in my car, when you have cargo with such importance you tend to notice f**king ar**holes who think roads are for racing rather than travelling.
York City reserve side with Real Madrid...funny!
New commentator here :)
The puma is torque limited in first gear so its 0-60 time is not indicative of its true capabilities. I have no idea what the BMW does or does not do in the 30-70 or 50-90 drag race, but I know that these values are what matters in everyday driving. Incidentally it is in these places that the puma performs extremely well.
The 0-60 time is often quoted and often useless as it is in this case.
The reason the puma is limited in first gear by the way is because if it wasnt then the torque of the engine would knacker the cheap fiesta gear box before long.
My 192bhp Gti6 wrecks the Puma sport! Can't understand how anyone is rude/ stupid enough to openly say that their PUMA of all cars is able to keep up with cars such as a Type-R, never mind bringing an M3, or a Skyline into the debate for god sake. it's a 1.7 Ford (v-slow). Grow up! I think there are some people who post their opinions with the sole intention of p**sing people off.
A puma would struggle to keep up with a MG, ZR 1.9TDi.
Would happily put my Gti6 against a Puma sport, in fact I really believe that I would come out on top if I were to set off in second gear!
Anyway, thought id just let all you puma lovers know the facts, happy racing girls!!!
I worked with an engineer from Ford who worked on the development team for the Puma (the prototype had an RS Turbo engine). To contradict the previous comment, it WAS designed for driving enjoyment on a budget - they went to great lengths to get the 'feel' & sound just right, much like the original Golf GTi before it got lardy. That is the joy of a Puma - it's low sprung weight, giving it @ 120BHP/Ton which isn't bad. From personal experience, it CAN cut it with the big boys - sure it's not the fastest Ford ever, but it's probably the best... (can the ghost of Steve McQueen be wrong??).
So, "MX-5's are no problem". Really?
My 1.8iS MX-5 has 24 bhp more, a close ratio six-speed gearbox, and at under 1100kg, weighs pretty much the same as your Puma. It also has rear wheel drive, a limited slip differential and a "designed from the ground up" sports car chassis, as opposed to the Puma's (admittedly very capable) budget hatchback floorpan. I cannot think of a single road situation, straight or twisty, where the Puma would get near it.
I think you've been lucky so far and picked on 1.6 MX-5's on straight roads or with drivers who don't know what they are doing. When you come up against a well driven 1.8, you won't see it for dust.
The new mini my friend, just like the Puma, the Tigra, The Ka etc. were all aimed at hairdressers and women. No self respecting man would be seen dead in one (unless being picked up from the pub by his girlfriend).
I tell you what; this is awesome!
I wrote this review ages ago and people keep commenting on it!
I agree with this last comment, pumas are fun. No-one that has one disagrees, including a sizable male group as well as a female ownership.
To bring "man-hood" into it is about as desperate as you can get!
Hi. Me again. The author.
Its fairly obvious from the comments that it is a fairly split decision as to whether the Puma is as good as all that, but I really do think that an unbiased opinion or review and the Puma will easily stand up to the latest hot hatches because these are not about all-out speed; they need the elusive fun factor. Few people would argue that the Puma doesn't have this.
The Puma could not compete with the hot hatches of its day, never mind the modern ones. A Renault Clio 182 would destroy a Puma in every area of its game and it costs less new from a car supermarket than a similarly specced 1.7 Puma did in 1996.
What made me post my initial comments was the claim that you raced a BMW 330i, if I may quote you "A BMW 330 is about the most comparable. (That was a very close race!) "
A BMW 330i is a very fast car, it will blow a Puma away in any situation, they have a sorted RWD chassis and 231BHP.
I have a friend who bought a racing puma with 155BHP, he sold it because he could not keep up with his friends cars, it looked nice, sounded nice, handled really well and had the best brakes this side of a 911, but was just too slow to mix it with proper hot hatches.
When you say that the only other car you have driven is a Micra then I can believe you, because any hot hatch connoisseur would not make these claims!
To the chap who says that the Puma is the best car ever built, all I can say is "Priceless"!