2022 Ford Focus ST Mountune m365 review: price, specs and release date

Tuning firm Mountune gives the Ford Focus ST hot hatch more power than the pricier Volkswagen Golf R - for less than the price of a Clubsport. We've tested the Focus ST m365 to see how good it is...

Ford Focus ST Mountune m365 driving, front

Price from £33,285 for the standard car plus £2638 for upgrades | On sale Now 

Let’s face it, while many of us dream of owning an exotic supercar with a glorious-sounding engine and incredible acceleration, the reality is that we’d never get to use it that often. Once you factor in the running costs, lack of practicality and the fear of leaving it in public places, that dream suddenly becomes a nightmare.

The joy of a performance hatchback like the Ford Focus ST is that it lets you regularly enjoy a thrilling drive on most roads, with four passengers on board and a dog in the boot, and you don’t have to worry about keeping it in pristine condition.

But what if you want to maximise thrills out of your Focus ST? Since there isn’t a Focus RS halo model available, this m365 model may be the closest you can get to one.

A small Essex-based tuning company named Mountune might have the answer with the m365 upgrade. They increase the 2.3-litre engine’s power output by 84bhp with the help of the mTune SMARTflash app (£689), a new air filter (£50) and a larger, freer-flowing exhaust system (£1,899).

What's it like to drive?

The standard Focus ST is already fast, but this 360bhp hot hatch feels like it has a short attention span and is on high alert all the time. The eagerness to pick up speed from low revs is impressive, with less lag in response to the accelerator pedal and a smooth power delivery. Once the engine gets into its stride, the Mountune m365 absolutely devours roads, and has plenty of power in reserve compared with the standard model.

Ford Focus ST Mountune m365

If what you seek is maximum thrills and excitement, this slightly unhinged attitude will certainly give you sweaty palms. You don’t have to wrestle the steering wheel too much when accelerating and the traction control system does a smooth job of easing out the power on a dry road surface, so it’s not uncouth. It is a bit tricky to settle down when fun time is over, though.

While extra shove can benefit cruising ability in some cars by allowing you to sit in a higher gear at low speeds, that’s not the case with the Mountune m365. The willingness to pick up speed at the smallest flex of the accelerator pedal simply means it’ll get up and go at every opportunity – like a dog chasing after a ball. Cleverly, you can use the mTune SMARTflash app on your smartphone to revert back to the regular ST’s tune when it suits.

Thankfully, the larger three-inch exhaust system is easy to live with, and the car is only slightly louder inside than the standard version. You get to experience a higher level of pops and bangs during gear shifts for added theatre, but you don’t have to endure any additional drone when cruising on the motorway.

Ford Focus ST Mountune m365 driving, rear

Mountune's upgrades also extend to the brake discs and pads. There's also the option of fitting 20mm lower suspension, which does translate into a slightly bumpy ride that gets quite busy on rougher surfaces. It’s never harsh, but you’ll hear the suspension thumping more than on a regular ST.

In terms of price, you can buy a Focus ST and have the m365 upgrade fitted for less than the cost of a Volkwagen Golf Clubsport, which has less power but is much easier to live with every day. Alternatively, the Renault Megane RS is closer to the Focus ST in terms of firmness, and while the m365 feels more boisterous to drive, the Megane has the edge when it comes to handling.

Ford Focus ST Edition interior

What’s it like inside?

With just a metal Mountune-branded gearknob and a set of mats available as accessories, the interior remains exactly the same as the regular Focus ST. That’s no bad thing, as you still get a great driving position aided by the highly supportive Recaro front seats, as well as silver pedals and a few ST logos dotted around the interior. There’s otherwise little to separate the ST from a regular Ford Focus.

All the controls are straightforward enough to use and while some of the materials used could be nicer and brighter, there’s plenty of space for four passengers and their cargo. You can read more about the interior in our full Ford Focus ST review.

Next: Ford Focus ST Mountune m365 verdict and specs >>

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