Motor-Vision is back behind the wheel of the new Ford Fiesta ST; the hot hatch of the moment. And guess what? It’s now even hotter thanks to a mild, under-bonnet fettle from Essex-based Ford tuners, Mountune Performance. A couple of uprated aftermarket parts here and there and a tickle to the ECU has delivered a delicious extra dollop of horse power – from 179bhp to 212bhp. That’s 33 more ponies for just £599. And it won’t even touch your Ford new car warranty. Sounds irresistible to me!
The standard Fiesta ST is arguably the finest all-rounder you can buy for well under £20k, right now. It comes with everything a fast-driving-fan needs, right from the factory. Lower and stiffer stance, aggressive-looking dress up body parts, plenty of turbo shove and a chassis to die for. The interior gets tidy Recaro bucket seats to lock you in place when showing extra pace, and the usual refinements of air-con, electric bits and a decent stereo are pretty much all you’ll ever need, in my hot hatch book of joy.
But, what if there was a significant hike in power, torque and throttle response to be had for a quid less than £600? I think most buyers of this car in the UK– off which there are plenty so far, some 3,000; twice what Ford had planned since its launch earlier this year – would go for a good chunk of extra go-go. And remember, that new car warranty is not affected one jot.
The Mountune kit consists of the ECU remap – for more fuel, air and turbo boost – and a new, free-flowing air filter, plus a couple of other little bits. No need to change clutches or exhausts; just a simple in and out job done by the staff at Mountune in not much time at all. And then off you go, with 33bhp extra to play with.
On the road and the difference is clear, and awesome. Throttle response is sharper, engine intake noise more growly still, and the 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged EcoBoost motor pulls harder and cleaner and longer through all of the six forward gears. Torque now sits at 236lb ft, with 60mph coming and going in 6.5 seconds or less. Top speed nudges 140mph, and everywhere you look in the rev-range you’ll find torque, acceleration and rumble. There’s more power nearer the redline too, which means full-throttle, on-the-limiter acceleration runs are a howling ecstasy. For £600, why wouldn’t you? I definitely would!
The rest of the ST’s so-sorted set up is not touched at all, as it needs about as much help as Superman in a bar fight. Yes, the only sniffing point might be a suspension feeling that’s racetrack-firm, but that’s the price of the ST’s incredible mid-corner grip and composure. If you want a car that goes exactly where you want it to, this is the one. If you want a car that feels and drives like a favourite sofa, get yourself down to DFS; there’s probably a sale on.
The standard ST’s undercarriage is already beefy from the factory, with stiffer anti-roll bars, bespoke springs and dampers, and disc brakes of a good size at every corner. All of this apex-ready kit more than handles the hike in power, and really, the whole ST package is only enhanced by the Mountune kit. Sure, you could say that if the ST is the perfect hot hatch as some – including me, at this price and spec – would say, then why would it ‘need’ more power. It doesn’t. But, if you can have a full 33bhp for the price of a week’s half-board in some fleapit in Benidorm, with no effect on the warranty, wouldn’t you go for it? It makes easily as much sense as buying an ST and having a real hoot in it every time you drive it. And if you can’t picture yourself doing that in a car like this – with a cheeky Mountune badge on the boot – then this probably isn’t the car for you. The rest of you will just love it!
By Dan Anslow