Ford Fiesta ST Revo: Driven


Certain cars dictate certain driving styles. In a luxurious saloon, your inputs are measured and smooth to maintain the serenity. With a big turbo it's nice to hold a gear and anticipate the boost. And aren't roadsters just for blipped gearchanges and tunnels?

Looks great on coilovers, ride less impressive
Looks great on coilovers, ride less impressive
In a Revo Fiesta ST, your foot is to the floor. Everywhere. Traffic lights are start lines, roundabouts have clip points and B-roads become stages. That may sound juvenile but I defy anyone to drive this car with any concern for maturity. If the standard ST is a Scrappy Doo kind of character, this Revo car is Wile E. Coyote; of the same family but meaner, nastier and even keener to, er, scrap.

But Revo's plan for mischief is far more successful than Coyote's, perhaps because it is as simple as his ideas were complex. And that's where the extended analogy ends, honest. Essentially the Revo ST is a faster and more capable version of an already fast and very fun car. And therefore pretty fantastic.

It's an enhancement and not a transformation though. If the regular Fiesta's up-and-at-'em attitude isn't for you then you'll hate the Revo. Indeed, for those used to hot hatches with adaptive dampers and endless configurability (guilty as charged), the ceaseless intensity of the Fiesta can come as something of a shock. The ST is about as old school as contemporary hot hatches are and this car is even more of the same.

Well what's a tuned hot hatch without a big exhaust?
Well what's a tuned hot hatch without a big exhaust?
BD14NVE is Revo's Stage 2 car, to become an even wilder Stage 3 soon. As well as the software upgrades this car had a Scorpion turbo back exhaust, Airtec Stage 2 intercooler, Bilstein B14 coilovers and Team Dynamics wheels. Don't forget about that bizarre overboost too; because it isn't permanent, the Fiesta is sold as 182hp and 177lb ft despite having 200hp and 214lb ft for 15 seconds every time full throttle is deployed. So you're never going to be without 200hp when required.

Regardless, the Revo ST is a damn fast little car. Seriously, how-can-a-Fiesta-be-doing-this sort of fast. Revo states gains of up to 30hp depending on fuel but a far more significant torque gain of between 47 and 79lb ft. So that's up to 293lb ft. Yep. At Bruntingthorpe this Fiesta reached 100 mph from a standstill in 13.7 seconds, with six of those taken to hit 60. For reference Harris timed a Mountune at 15.4 seconds and the standard car did 17 flat in Autocar's hands. It's hilariously rapid.

Definitely not planning reverse doughnuts
Definitely not planning reverse doughnuts
Unfortunately we didn't have opportunity to verify those numbers independently but there is certainly no reason to doubt them. The fundamental characteristics of the standard car have remained, just with a whole heap more muscle. The slight low-rev hesitancy is only more noticeable now because of the torrent that follows soon after. By 2,000rpm or so you're rocking along quite nicely but at 3,500rpm it's absolutely tearing down the road. This car felt keener than the last standard car I drove to chase the 6,800rpm limiter too but that could have been attributable to a few more miles. There are no peaks or troughs in the delivery, simply a sustained lunge of addictive, brilliant boost. It's mega.

The Scorpion exhaust is the perfect accompaniment. Mostly. It burbles with small throttle applications, blares at full attack and can be a touch annoying at a cruise. As with all tuning, it's a case of personal preference. I would keep it, just for those perfect downchange moments with a few pops from behind. It's not for those wishing to make subtle progress mind. But then are those people considering any kind of Fiesta ST?

Fast before, now absurdly rapid
Fast before, now absurdly rapid
An upgrade that may require further deliberation are the Bilstein B14 coilovers. A lower and stiffer Fiesta ST is fabulous at the right times and fairly frustrating at the wrong ones. It jostles with the road, throwing up imperfections you never knew existed and feeling quite feisty. The damping is fine, it could just do with a fraction more compliance and travel for everyday road use. These units are height adjustable and, given the amount of times this ST scraped its nose, a few more millimetres up would probably help. It would surely be outstanding on a track in this setting but it's a little too harsh for everyday. Revo is working on some adjustable units for the next raft of upgrades which will be interesting to try.

Of course the flipside is superb. So well tied down is the ST on its coilovers with fresh front tyres that traction is fantastic, much better than you may expect given that torque output. The great turn in from the standard car is maintained with the same eagerness to tighten its line and be adjusted on the throttle. But the feeling that sometimes occurs with the standard ST of being right up on its tippy-toes never materialises, the Revo so much more composed in quick direction changes. On the right road I'm not sure much more fun could be had with front-wheel drive.

It's really good out of the car park too
It's really good out of the car park too
And everything that's so appealing about the standard Fiesta ST remains in the tuned car. The gearbox is slick, the pedals are nicely placed and it looks pretty cool too. The full breakdown of costs is below but this isn't too costly, and parts can be added one by one. With used STs from£12K you could have a car like this complete for comfortably less than £16K. As with all modified cars it's your own risk as the changes from factory standard will invalidate the warranty. It will be worth investigating how an insurance premium would be affected too. For what it's worth the Revo car never felt like anything less than a very fast version of the regular ST, not some sketchy tuner special. The tweaks are hardly drastic after all.

Some conclusions then. The standard Fiesta ST is a great car and the Mountune version even more so. If neither can satisfy your desire for a fast Fiesta though the Revo absolutely will. Anyone who enjoys a raucous hot hatch will totally love it. Personally I'd be inclined to search out a slightly less focused suspension setup but the additional power is addictive once experienced. The 280hp Stage 3 car with a limited-slip diff and bigger brakes should be amazing. I can't wait.


FORD FIESTA ST REVO STAGE 2
Engine:
1,596cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 218-232hp (dependent on fuel) (182@5,700rpm (200hp w/overboost) as standard)
Torque (lb ft): 261-293lb ft (177@1,500-5,000rpm (214lb ft w/overboost) as standard)
0-62mph: 5.9 sec (Revo figures)
Top speed: 144mph
Weight: 1,163kg
MPG: 47.9mpg (NEDC combined, standard car)
CO2: 138g/km (standard car)
Price: £20,752 (assuming standard Fiesta ST-1 at £17,250 plus £449 for Revo Stage 2 software, £729 for Bilstein B14 coilovers, £750 for Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 wheels, £549 for Airtec intercooler and £1,025 for the Scorpion exhaust).

[Source: Autocar]
[Pics: Ben Lowden]





 

 

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Comments (60) Join the discussion on the forum

  • N0ddie 29 Jan 2015

    Nice wee review. Our little Fiesta is currently at Revo stage 2 (No coilovers yet though). It was dyno'd with 207bhp @ the wheels (241bhp @ the fly) and 243lb/ft @ the wheels.

    Its a very nippy car. The difference between the MP215 package I had fitted originally is night and day. I to have the Scorpion turbo back exhaust. It was loud to start with but now with nearly 10k miles on the exhaust its very quiet (Inside the car anyway).

  • TNH 29 Jan 2015

    Sounds like it would be even better with just the intercooler and map.

  • Axionknight 29 Jan 2015

    Love it! My girlfriend drives a Mountune ST2 and its a great little car, this looks like one too, Ford really have got it spot on with this generation of Fiesta IMO.

  • Matt Bird 29 Jan 2015

    N0ddie said:
    Nice wee review. Our little Fiesta is currently at Revo stage 2 (No coilovers yet though). It was dyno'd with 207bhp @ the wheels (241bhp @ the fly) and 243lb/ft @ the wheels.

    Its a very nippy car. The difference between the MP215 package I had fitted originally is night and day. I to have the Scorpion turbo back exhaust. It was loud to start with but now with nearly 10k miles on the exhaust its very quiet (Inside the car anyway).
    Good news! How do you find it with the standard suspension? Glad to hear the exhaust is alright to live with, I found it OK at a steady cruise but quite boomy if you needed to accelerate at all. Fantastic when you're on it though!


    Matt

  • N0ddie 29 Jan 2015

    Matt Bird said:
    Good news! How do you find it with the standard suspension? Glad to hear the exhaust is alright to live with, I found it OK at a steady cruise but quite boomy if you needed to accelerate at all. Fantastic when you're on it though!


    Matt
    The standard suspension is good but pretty harsh I think. This is being remedied tomorrow though with a set of adjustable coilovers which are meant to transform the ride quality.

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