So last week we had the chance to compare just how much better a Mountune-tuned Focus ST is than my own, completely standard, long-term test car. It wasn’t – not by a long way.
This week we’ve had in a Ford Fiesta ST Mountune, so it was even more interesting to drive the two cars back to back. It’s fair to say the Fiesta is a whole lot more fun than the Focus. It’s more immediate, it’s more nimble, and it makes just as good a noise as the bigger car. This is especially good news for me, because the Focus is eventually going to be replaced with a Fiesta.
That said, I certainly feel don’t feel in any way short-changed with the Focus, because it’s still one of the best hot hatches out there.
One thing is for sure – I’d rather grab the keys to the Focus if I’ve got a long journey in store.
By Euan Doig
Week ending September 6
Miles this week 283
Is it just me, or can colour have a huge bearing on how quick a car looks? Check out the picture - doesn’t the orange ST look like it might be quicker than my own long-term test car with it’s more subtle blue hue?
On paper, the orange car is quicker too, because it’s fitted with a Mountune performance kit. This increases power to 271bhp (from 247) and torque to 295lb ft (up from 275), so the orange car should be able to show mine a clean pair of wheels.
On a flat, straight piece of road, it would. It feels more urgent at all revs, and gains speed noticeably more quickly than my car.
However, introduce bumps, cambers and corners into the reckoning and things change. That’s because the Mountune ST struggles to put its power down much more than my car, and gets dragged this way and that as the front wheels do battle with the road, the laws of physics, and the efforts of Mountune’s engineers.
That’s why I’m convinced my car would be as quick if not quicker down a B-road. It’s also much less taxing to drive fast, if only because it’s far more willing to stay on its own side of the road under full throttle.
My car sounds better too. The Mountune car is much more muted than my car, which emits an intoxicating bark whenever you squeeze the accelerator. All in all, it’s clear to see that Ford got the Focus ST right from the very start.
By Euan Doig