Ford Puma Kit cars were developed by Ford Racing at Borham, Essex. The Ford Racing Engineers were tasked with producing a rally ready version of the Ford Puma.
A constant balance was needed to retain engineering integrity whilst still ensuring the end product was priced competitively. As designers the Borham engineers were restricted by the price the market would stand rather than by what the FIA regulations allowed.
Of all Ford's models, the Puma was considered one of the best suited to the task of becoming a competitive kit-car - its basic attributes equipped it very for the role. A new Focus was considered an ideal base for an FIA World Championship car, but it would have been very un-competitive as a 1400cc machine.
Ford Racing developed two Puma kit-cars; the VK14 (also known as the S1400) and the VK16 (the S1600), both cars were completely new. The two body shells were of identical construction with the same amount of wheel travel on both cars. However on the S1600 VK16 the track was widened to allow for wider wheels and tyres - as permitted by the regulations. The ride-height remained the same on both S1400 and S1600 cars.
The engine sizes were chosen to match FIA classes. The kit-car regulations allowed the engineers to decrease or increase engine capacity, both Puma kit-cars used versions of the 1.7-litre Zetec engine (as found in the standard road going Ford Puma) - downsized to the appropriate capacity.