The axe has swung on the Ford Fiesta and we’re all feeling a bit sad about it here at PH. Despite being one of the best-selling cars in Europe - not to mention the basis for one of the all-time hot hatch greats - the world is changing and Ford believes the only way forward is to ditch some of its lineup and start afresh. The future is coming, folks, and it’s about to get a whole lot quieter.
The good news is the Fiesta ST is still an absolute bargain on the used market, meaning you can be the proud owner of a hot hatch icon for the same price as a packet of crisps. But it’s got us thinking about all the ‘what if?’ cars that never came to fruition. The big one, of course, is the unfortunate hole where a proper RS version should have appeared. True, Ford did build a concept version back in 2004 with the obligatory swollen arches and a 30hp bump over the Mk6 ST. But it would never see production and, therefore, it was up to the aftermarket to cater for those wanting a bit more torque steer. And deliver the aftermarket did.
For the Mk7, Ford’s factory World Rally team M-Sport decided to launch a very limited production run of souped-up STs to celebrate its many wins. The big upgrade with the M-Sport Edition actually comes from Mountune, upping the output from 182hp to 200hp as standard, or 215hp on overboost. An RS-style Quaife differential was also thrown in, plus a set of 17-inch OZ wheels, M-Sport sticker set, some blue highlights in the interior and team owner Malcom Wilson’s signature on the sun visor. Alcon brakes were available as an optional extra, as were Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers, which helps to make the M-Sport Edition arguably the closest thing we’ve got to a modern-day Fiesta RS.
This example, however, is no ordinary M-Sport Edition. It’s been upgraded to Mountune’s nutty MR265 spec, which, as you can probably guess, ups the power to 265hp. This comes courtesy of a hybrid turbocharger, an upgraded intercooler, high-flow rear-intake pipework, silicon hoses and an ECU remap for good measure. Performance was blistering, with the MR265 package lowering the 0-62mph time from 6.7 seconds on the standard car to 5.7 seconds. Granted, that’s a lot of power through the front wheels, but mating the MR265 package with the M-Sport Edition, most notably that Quaife diff, ought to help transfer most of that power to the tarmac without lighting up the tyres.
Of course, a proper RS needs jaw-dropping looks to match the performance. The visual upgrades on the M-Sport Edition were minimal, leading the previous owner to fit the body kit from the R5R rally car to complete the look. And you know what? It doesn’t look too bad; if anything, the M-Sport mud flaps actually do it some favours. The first two versions of the Focus RS mimicked their corresponding rally cars, so there’s some method behind the madness of this particular car.
Needless to say, buying a modified can be a bit of a minefield because you can never be sure of the quality of the handiwork that’s gone into it. This, then, seems like a safe bet given that it’s been put together by two of Ford UK’s top specialists with plenty of receipts to document the process. It’s up for £25,000, which isn’t far off the cost of a brand new Mk8 Fiesta ST, but only 20 examples of the M-Sport Edition were ever produced and it’s unlikely there are too many Fiesta STs out there with the MR265 pack, either. Fast Ford values tend to skyrocket when they go out of print, and there will likely be an appetite for ultra-rare Fiestas once the plug is pulled next year. Best snap it up then.
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