RE: Ford Fiesta ST M225 | Driven

RE: Ford Fiesta ST M225 | Driven

Wednesday 12th June

Ford Fiesta ST M225 | Driven

The Fiesta ST is already the best small hot hatch. Guess what it's like when made slightly faster...



For more than a decade now, Mountune's work on the Fiesta ST has yielded some of the finest fast Ford entertainment available. In 2008, it was thanks to some traditional NA tuning of the 2.0-litre ST - spikier cams being a notable feature - that the slightly wheezy Fiesta engine achieved proper firecracker status.

Understandably given the popularity of the previous Fiesta ST, further Mountune options became available and with a Ford warranty behind it, the Performance 215 kit was a real success. And with good reason: fitted to our long term Fiesta for less than the price of some of the metallic paint options, the MP215 made a great car even better with no impact on drivability.

Now the tuner has launched the same level of upgrade for the three-cylinder ST. As before, the changes are relatively modest (induction changes and new calibration) but elicit some worthwhile gains: 225hp is an additional 25hp over standard, while a new torque peak of 251lb ft is up 37 points. And broadly competitive with larger hot hatches from the class above, in fact - a 275hp Hyundai i30 N makes 260lb ft, the 308 GTI an identical 251lb ft.


Predictably, it's that barrel-chested torque figure that has the greatest impact on the road. That's certainly no bad thing, either, given the standard 1.5-litre Ecoboost is a three-pot which trades more on its lusty mid-range more than it does frenzied high revs. Like the previous Performance kit on the four-cylinder car, the M225 represents more of what was already good about the standard version, without compromise: more noise, more urgency, more performance, more fun. Why, after all, spoil such a good recipe? The subtlety and finesse of Mountune's work is perhaps its greatest strength. Ford, after all, does not need that much help.

On the road, the M225 is exactly how you'd hope a lightly tweaked Fiesta ST would be. There's an addictiveness to how hard it pulls every ratio, the torque providing in-gear possibilities that aren't quite there in the standard model. Moreover, at its peak, it is demonstrably quicker than normal, with all the juvenile entertainment that comes from something so small being hurled down a road so rapidly.

There's also a sneaking suspicion that the Mountune'd car might rev a little more freely than standard, although we'd need a back to back comparison to be sure. It could very well be the placebo effect, caught up in the torque and the raspier soundtrack of the Sport and Race modes which have also been tweaked. One thing the ST could never be accused of is torpidity, yet that energetic nature is front and centre here.


Essentially then, as it was before, the Mountune's Fiesta ST package is a no-brainer; at £795 plus fitting from a reputable brand, and with the world-first app installation, it's laughably easy to recommend.

It's probably clear from the pictures, however, that this ST isn't just sporting some extra power and torque. As Mountune's demonstrator, M999 FST also comes with a big brake kit - four-piston front calipers, 330mm discs, upgraded pads and braided lines - prototype lowering springs, a quickshift kit and 18-inch Turbomac wheels from fifteen52 (Mountune now of course working with the US firm on VW tuning - more of which to follow soon).

The chassis modifications felt a bit OTT for a wet and windy June day in the Essex countryside - or rather, forced to operate at commitment levels that made them feel unnecessarily overspecced. No doubt this sort of braking performance and security of body control would be ideal for a dedicated track project; here though they take away as much from a great road car in their occasional abruptness as they add in potency and ability. While the brakes in particular delivered immense power, the standard set up would be sufficient for the road, even with the M225 kit fitted. The quickshift does feel to have taken some slack out of the gearbox, too, it should be noted.


And that's the joy of modifying - you can add as much or as little as you want, depending on budget, ambition and preference. For those that won't use their car on track, there will be no need for brake and suspension changes, so they won't have them. All Fiesta ST buyers should get the basic Mountune upgrade, though - even those with bigger plans ahead, because the work is modular, so the air box used here will support more serious modifications in the future. And for those simply seeking more fun from an already brilliant little car, the M225 hits the nail on the head with all the precision we've come to expect from its maker.

By seeking to enhance rather than transform the ST package, it feels like an in-house development - and given Ford's towering reputation in the segment, there can be no higher praise. Get a Performance Pack car with this fitted and you won't find a more enjoyable new hot hatch for the money. And by the time boredom sets in - if it ever does - Mountune should have the second stage of upgrades ready to go...


SPECIFICATION - FORD FIESTA ST M225
Engine:
1,497cc, 3-cyl turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power: 225@NA rpm
Torque: 251@NA rpm
0-60mph: 5.95 sec
Top speed: 144mph (standard car)
Weight: 1,262kg (EU, with driver)
MPG: 47.1 (standard car)
CO2: 136g/km (standard car)
Price: £795 kit (without fitting), Fiesta ST from £18,995






Author
Discussion

sgtBerbatov

Original Poster:

1,323 posts

23 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Just wondering, if this is the best hot hatch what's the worst? I haven't seen a review for it?

Dale487

958 posts

65 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
sgtBerbatov said:
Just wondering, if this is the best hot hatch what's the worst? I haven't seen a review for it?
Corsa GSI - £20K for 150PS - more bad value on list price (I've heard of some ridiculous discounts) than truly bad.

heisthegaffer

1,170 posts

140 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
I'm really keen on these, very fast but those wheels are revolting.

tsp

40 posts

47 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
I brought my fiesta ST with the intentions of fitting the Mountune kit when it became available. But now its not warranty approved I won't be. The car as standard has more than enough power so I'm not going to throw away my warranty for a small increase.

And there has to be a reason Ford have chosen not to warranty approve the upgrade.

Zetec-S

2,678 posts

35 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
tsp said:
And there has to be a reason Ford have chosen not to warranty approve the upgrade.
I wonder if it's because the engine is fairly new and relatively unproven? Given a couple of years of real world usage, if the standard one proves to be reliable and feedback from Mountune and it's users is positive they may choose to approve.
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Petrolsmasher

1,988 posts

58 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Zetec-S said:
tsp said:
And there has to be a reason Ford have chosen not to warranty approve the upgrade.
I wonder if it's because the engine is fairly new and relatively unproven? Given a couple of years of real world usage, if the standard one proves to be reliable and feedback from Mountune and it's users is positive they may choose to approve.
Very much doubt they would suddenly approve it years down the line.

James_33

101 posts

8 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Surely putting more and more power into these small engines is a call for disaster at some point?

Dale487

958 posts

65 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
James_33 said:
Surely putting more and more power into these small engines is a call for disaster at some point?
By Mercedes standards, these should be able to push out 300bhp and not go pop or need servicing every 12 minutes.

Zetec-S

2,678 posts

35 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Petrolsmasher said:
Very much doubt they would suddenly approve it years down the line.
Why not? I'm not suggesting they'd backdate any warranty, but is it really that hard to imagine some sort of article headline in a couple of years time along the lines of
"Fiesta ST MP230 launched - now with full Ford backed warranty"

James_33

101 posts

8 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Zetec-S said:
Why not? I'm not suggesting they'd backdate any warranty, but is it really that hard to imagine some sort of article headline in a couple of years time along the lines of
"Fiesta ST MP230 launched - now with full Ford backed warranty"
Possibly

But there's got to be some reason why ford have decided to stop the warranty, something within the engine that's going to cost ford potentially a lot of money through warranty claims that they want no part of?

FourRingedDonuts

91 posts

66 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Isn't the lack of warranty because Ford have stopped the official partnering with Mountune.

richiekuk

21 posts

149 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
tsp said:
I brought my fiesta ST with the intentions of fitting the Mountune kit when it became available. But now its not warranty approved I won't be. The car as standard has more than enough power so I'm not going to throw away my warranty for a small increase.

And there has to be a reason Ford have chosen not to warranty approve the upgrade.
Where did you bring it?

LuS1fer

35,110 posts

187 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Didn't like the looks when this was launched and still don't. I'll stick with my 215.

Steff

1,412 posts

205 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
heisthegaffer said:
I'm really keen on these, very fast but those wheels are revolting.
love those wheels !

J4CKO

27,461 posts

142 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
James_33 said:
Surely putting more and more power into these small engines is a call for disaster at some point?
You do realise car manufacturers have designers who have degrees in engineering, they do all sorts of testing, use different materials, better tolerances and design the engines to operate at that level. They dont just take a 2.0 pinto, hacksaw a cylinder off, whack a turbo on and crank up the boost.

The difference is with downsized engines is that the cooling circuit is much more critical. an old Pinto could lose its coolant and you could quite happily drive, get it off the road and wait for the AA, possibly even, if it was cold out, drive gently home and it would most likely survive, these new ones, producing much more power from a much smaller block, with the heat of a turbo, just dont have any margin to absorb and dissipate all that heat generated if the cooling fails and it all gets a bit like a Curly Wurly left on a dashboard in Spain, in August.

So, the disasters are, if your cooling lets go, the Degas pipe on the 1 litre Ecoboosts was substandard, been improved but I have heard of people having engine failures like that, and my brother just caught his wifes B max in time.

So, if you have an engine like that, keep as close an eye on the coolant side of things as the oil.

981C

617 posts

90 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
tsp said:
I brought my fiesta ST with the intentions of fitting the Mountune kit when it became available. But now its not warranty approved I won't be. The car as standard has more than enough power so I'm not going to throw away my warranty for a small increase.

And there has to be a reason Ford have chosen not to warranty approve the upgrade.
Why give profit to Mountune when we can package a performance kit ourselves?

The nature of modern engine design means there will be headroom in this engine. REVO feel comfortable taking this engine close to 250PS and 370NM.

Edited by 981C on Wednesday 12th June 10:15

Ashwiltshire

4 posts

4 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
I can see that ford have stopped warranty approving moutune as they will bring out a remap under the “ford performance” branding like they have with the new mustang

Scottie - NW

851 posts

175 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Ashwiltshire said:
I can see that ford have stopped warranty approving moutune as they will bring out a remap under the “ford performance” branding like they have with the new mustang
So why would anyone use a Mountune upgrade and lose the warranty, when a Ford one keeps it?

All this saying Mountune has their own is just trouble and hassle waiting to happen, we all know what 3rd party warranty difficulties occur, imagine getting stuck between different companies arguing, it's the consumer who will lose out.

Frimley111R

9,642 posts

176 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
You do realise car manufacturers have designers who have degrees in engineering, they do all sorts of testing, use different materials, better tolerances and design the engines to operate at that level. They dont just take a 2.0 pinto, hacksaw a cylinder off, whack a turbo on and crank up the boost.

The difference is with downsized engines is that the cooling circuit is much more critical. an old Pinto could lose its coolant and you could quite happily drive, get it off the road and wait for the AA, possibly even, if it was cold out, drive gently home and it would most likely survive, these new ones, producing much more power from a much smaller block, with the heat of a turbo, just dont have any margin to absorb and dissipate all that heat generated if the cooling fails and it all gets a bit like a Curly Wurly left on a dashboard in Spain, in August.

So, the disasters are, if your cooling lets go, the Degas pipe on the 1 litre Ecoboosts was substandard, been improved but I have heard of people having engine failures like that, and my brother just caught his wifes B max in time.

So, if you have an engine like that, keep as close an eye on the coolant side of things as the oil.
i bet manufacturers wish you could make a 3 cylinder like that hehe

Interesting post though. smile

981C

617 posts

90 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Scottie - NW said:
So why would anyone use a Mountune upgrade and lose the warranty, when a Ford one keeps it?
Because there isn't one yet. Assuming one is released, I would expect it to be a modest gain, so the conservative third party tunes are rendered redundant. The likes of REVO, that offer significant gains and multi-stage tuning would also take a hit, but to a lesser extent.