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Ford Focus, Fiesta ST set for hot tuning pack

Mountune high-performance packs on cards for Ford’s Focus, Fiesta ST hot hatches

Ford logo29 Aug 2013

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

FORD Australia is set to offer a performance upgrade for its new Sport Technologies hot-hatch duo, the ST-branded Focus and Fiesta.

The company is currently negotiating pricing, warranty and fitment details with British-based specialist Mountune, which builds officially sanctioned performance and handling kits specifically for the Focus ST and its Fiesta counterpart overseas.

While Australian details, including timing, are still to be finalised, GoAuto understands that the Ford dealer-fitted accessories would add up to a 10 per cent premium over the standard cars.

That would put the just-released $25,990 Fiesta ST close to $30,000 and the $38,590 Focus ST beyond the $40,000 mark.

For the money, the mechanical upgrade will bring more power and quicker acceleration, with the recently released £1225 ($A2122) Focus ST package in the UK pushing maximum power and torque out to 202kW/400Nm and reducing the 0-100km/h acceleration time to 5.95 seconds.

That makes it more than half a second quicker to the national speed limit than the regular Focus ST, while in-gear acceleration also improves. For example, fourth gear acceleration from 50-100km/h drops by no less than eight-tenths, to 4.9s.

The latest Mountune pack for the British-market Fiesta ST, meanwhile, lowers the chassis further, increases power and torque to 158kW/320Nm and enables 0-100km/h acceleration in 6.7 seconds – two-tenths quicker than the factory model. The upgrade costs £599 ($1037) in the UK.

According to Ford Australia brand communications manager Neil McDonald, both Ford and Mountune have a strong interest in offering the upgrade packages here.

“It is certainly being looked at,” he told GoAuto at the Fiesta ST launch in Melbourne this week.

“There’s a great opportunity out there for our performance customers for both Focus and Fiesta to add a bit more personalisation to their vehicles. And we are investigating everything relating to the tuning process for the ST.

“But at this stage, while we are progressing well with the assessment for supporting Mountune in Australia, we haven’t yet made a decision if it is going to go ahead or not.”

Mr McDonald said the main concern is how the level of Mountune modification carried out on the Focus and Fiesta ST affects the Ford factory warranty.

“If we do end up providing the matching kits, how would they be warranted?” he said. “Do we look after that, or does Mountune?“There’s a model for the US market now and there’s one for Europe, and we have to look further at what they do before we decide how or if we do it for Australia.

“But Mountune has gone through similar processes (overseas) and are now fully integrated with Ford’s systems.”

The UK Mountune packs for both Focus and Fiesta are fully compatible with Ford’s factory warranty.

Taking around 90 minutes to fit at the dealership, the latest Focus ST upgrade includes a cast alloy inlet duct (silver or black powder coat finish), high-flow air filter element, larger alloy intercooler (silver or black powder coat finish) and unique calibration.

It takes around an hour to upgrade the Fiesta ST, which gets a remodelled air box base with secondary inlet duct, a high-flow filter element and unique calibration.

Along with its core motorsport involvement, Mountune has been improving the way the Fiesta and Focus drive since the previous-generation models of the mid-2000s, and has even provided upgrades for TDCi turbo-diesel versions in Europe.

Billed as “Ford of Europe’s official tuning and race-winning engine builder”, Mountune recently expanded into the North American market with a new centre in Southern California.

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