The present Ford Fiesta ST is already a really convincing sizzling hatchback; we all know this having run one on our long-term take a look at fleet earlier within the yr. We favored it a lot that on the time we thought it exhausting to enhance upon for all-round driver enchantment.
However tuner Mountune has accomplished simply that with its new Fiesta ST M225, which features a vary of well-judged choices that try and increase on the common ST’s repertoire, somewhat than taking it in a distinct path altogether.
The total-beans improve prices a reasonably steep £2,866 (above the £22,895 you’ll want for a primary ST), although for this you get an honest improve in energy and torque – up from 197bhp to 222bhp and from 290Nm to 340Nm. There’s an excellent new Quickshift gearchange with a bespoke new gear knob, barely decrease and stiffer suspension, beefier brakes, a brand new rear spoiler, bespoke Mountune embossed flooring mats plus the Mountune stripe alongside the doorways, too. So it’s a complete stage of additional package for less than a contact lower than £3k.
Alternatively, you possibly can cherry decide Mountune’s choices and go for particular person upgrades as a substitute. The pokier engine map prices £795 and features a new induction system as nicely. The whole thing is managed by an app, so you possibly can mess around with the map settings through your cellphone. Which means you don’t want to hold your laptop computer or go to a storage to change the map. If you would like the massive brakes that’s one other £1,175, whereas the Quickshift system prices simply £150 – as do the shorter, stiffer springs.
One pretty main phrase of warning, nonetheless; in response to Mountune, none of its merchandise are at the moment supported by Ford’s guarantee programme, which suggests you threat invalidating the producer assure by becoming any of the package listed above. It’s a disgrace, as a lot of Mountune’s upgrades for the earlier ST had been lined by Ford’s three-year, 60,000-mile new automobile guarantee.
The automobile we tried had all the pieces fitted, however was nonetheless in what Mountune describes as prototype specification. The engineers are enjoying round with the rear spring charges in the mean time, which at the moment make the rear finish really feel, of their phrases, “fairly energetic” on turn-in. They’re not flawed – and the identical is true for the trip high quality.
Inside 50 metres you possibly can inform simply how a lot stiffer the M225 feels in contrast with the common ST, and that’s not essentially a welcome realisation. The best way the common automobile breathes with the street so fluidly, whereas on the identical time offering such crisp chassis response, is one among its strongest qualities. But the M225 – to start with – feels overly stiff, frenetically so on less-than-perfect street surfaces.
However there may be an upside, and it comes within the type of heroically sharp flip in, which quickly transforms into full blown lift-off oversteer in case you attempt a bit too exhausting. And because of this Mountune describes the present automobile as a prototype. Studying between the strains, the folks behind this automobile’s creation comprehend it’s a bit too fruity for the shopping for public, and can virtually actually de-tune it within the close to future by softening the rear springs a contact.
The remainder of the M225 is fairly spectacular, although. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine feels and sounds a good bit louder and stronger by way of the rev vary. The ECU re-map hasn’t made it peaky, simply stronger. The Zero-60mph declare is 5.95 seconds, a tidy enchancment over the usual automobile’s not-quite-comparable Zero-62mph time of 6.5 seconds.
The Quickshift set-up additionally provides a component of precision to the gearchange that isn’t fairly there within the common automobile. The larger brakes really feel like they may cease a tank, too. The pedal really feel is simply a lot crisper.
As for the visible upgrades, you’ll both love them or detest them, however fortuitously these are non-obligatory too; in case you’re within the latter group you then simply go for the dynamic upgrades on their very own. At this level you’ll have a correct Q-car in your fingers – one which’s even higher (in most methods) than the superb automobile on which it’s primarily based.