The Ford Fiesta ST has already set the new class benchmark by fending off the Peugeot 208 GTi and the Renaultsport Clio 200, but now Ford has teamed up with long-time tuning house pals Mountune to offer a harder edged version. Available from September, the kit can be added at any of the 120 Mountune dealers in the UK and is covered by Ford’s factory warranty. Yet with such a dominant performance from the stock model, surely this version can’t make the stellar ST any better?
>> Click here to read CAR's three-way battle between Fiesta ST, Clio RS and 208 GTi
What is Mountune and what has it done to the Ford Fiesta ST?
Mountune is a tuning house that has offered performance enhancing kits – like the one fitted to this Fiesta ST – to the previous Focus range, and also co-developed the Focus RS500 with Ford.
For £599, Mountune will flash your Fiesta ST’s ECU and fettle the induction set-up, including adding a performance air filter so the engine can breathe better. It’s the kind of thing your dad was doing to his Ford Escort – tuning the carb and adding a sports filter for a bit more grunt. It doesn’t sound like much, but the kit delivers a power jump from 197bhp to 212bhp – a decent shot in the arm and enough to shave 0.2sec off the 0-62mph time, now 6.7sec. The best part? The only visual clue, inside and out, is the tiny yellow Mountune badge on the back.
So how does it drive?
Hit the start button in the ST and the 1.6-litre turbo four emits a delicious, deep burble that’s much louder and meatier than rather refined character this engine has in standard form. It’s not overly loud, but a constant reminder egging you on as you trundle around town. When you do succumb to temptation and mash the throttle – which has a fair amount of travel but is still progressive and easy to modulate – there’s a loud turbo whoosh that prompts head twitches and double-takes from by-standers thanks to the ST’s relatively modest looks.
Yet its performance is far from modest, and the upgrades have given it a sharper throttle that responds instantly – it’s bucketloads of fun to drive. You can really feel the extra urge, particularly in the mid-range, backing up Ford’s claims that the kit slices a massive 0.7sec from the time spent accelerating between 31-62mph in fourth gear.
Most importantly, it hasn’t diluted any of the ST’s other talents: the superb turn-in, excellent mechanical grip and sharp, precise steering remain, allowing you to use the extra poke through corners for even faster point-to-point coverage than the stocker.
A winner? You bet. The Mountune Fiesta ST gives the class-leading hot hatch an even greater edge, without compromising any of the attributes that make the ST such a brilliant hatch. Add that fact that it’s discreet, affordable and backed by the factory, and it’s difficult to find a reason not to opt for it.