The Ford Focus ST Mountune takes Ford’s answer to the VW Golf GTI and gives it a shot in the arm to make it box with, well, a VW Golf R instead. The 2.0-litre turbocharger four-cylinder engine’s been given a 24bhp power hike to 271bhp, as well as a 30lb ft boost in torque for a total 295lb ft.
How has Mountune made the ST more powerful?
The changes are pretty simple: there’s a bigger intercooler, a high-performance K&N air filter and an ECU re-calibration. Not only does this give the added punch and beefier sound, but it means that the Focus’s engine hasn’t been pulled apart, the benefit being that this kit won’t affect your Ford factory warranty.
In fact, you can have it fitted at one of the 120 Mountune-approved Ford dealers UK-wide for £1225 (plus fitting).
What’s it like to drive?
The ST is a decent performer, so you’d think that a little extra poke would up the level of the flying Focus to even higher levels of lust and performance: it doesn’t. While the 0-62mph time has been slashed by 0.6sec to 5.9sec, it’s where it counts – corners – where this car falters.
Of course, the standard ST doesn’t come with the clever RevoKnuckle front end that helped the last-gen’s brilliant front-drive RS model put its power down – cost and weight, say Ford engineers, put paid to that.
While there’s torque vectoring, the challenge for the Mountune ST remains how to transfer the extra power to effective on-road performance, which this car simply doesn’t do as well as the standard version. In the smaller Fiesta ST, the Mountune mods added an extra layer on top of the standard car’s brilliant, class-leading performance: here, they’ve upset the overall balance.
So, backed by a pleasing boy-racer turbo woosh, the Mountune Focus struggles to put its power down out of corners effectively, and its unchanged suspension means there’s more dive and squat throughout the process, too. The knock-on effect is a car that doesn’t bite as well, has less road-holding capability and is ultimately less satisfying than the standard version to punt down winding road. It doesn’t translate the power into real-world performance, despite the Mountune’s straight-line superiority over the donor car.
Sure, for party tricks – like spinning the front wheels – this is the king of the Focus hill, but the balance and poise aren’t as polished as the original, so you’d be better off in a RenaultSport Megane 265 if you’re looking for dynamic panache and power bragging rights.
Verdict – so it’s a waste of money?
Not entirely. There’s noticeable more straight-line punch, and the improvement in response is obvious, especially the in-gear shove, which you can feel, but again, it’s lost in the transfer to the road. Thanks to that flatter, longer torque curve, Mountune says that the 31-62mph sprint in fourth gear is achieved in 4.9sec – a handsome 0.8sec faster than the stock Focus ST.
There’s also negligible impact in fuel economy, too, and of the only visual nod to traffic-light racers that your Focus bites harder is the small Mountune badge on the bootlid. Yet for corner-carving ability, the Focus ST Mountune is not the step up from the standard car it needs to be, especially for the cost. Fiesta ST Mountune? Definitely. Focus ST Mountune? Maybe not…