Ford Focus ST Mountune m330 review
The easy-fit Mountune upgrade boosts the Ford Focus ST hatchback to 326bhp and a huge 515Nm and offers great value.
The m330 kit is a well judged and exciting upgrade for one of the finest hot hatchbacks around. At £589, it’s also excellent value for such a sizeable power boost. The fact that it voids Ford’s warranty could put off some buyers, but if you’re looking for some extra grunt from your ST, we’d certainly recommend taking a look.
If fast Fords aren’t quite quick enough for you, Mountune has long been providing extra performance for a very reasonable price. This Focus ST Mountune m330 is the firm’s latest offering. The upgrade costs £589, and while it may only consist of a simple plug-in ECU remap, this off-the-shelf tweak brings a big serving of extra pace.
Power from Ford’s 2.3-litre turbo petrol engine rises from 276bhp to 326bhp, and torque soars by 95Nm to a whopping 515Nm in total. Those are significant hikes in a car that wasn’t exactly lacking grunt in the first place, and are enough to knock 0.5 seconds from the ST’s 0-62mph time, which now stands at 5.2 seconds.
Buyers can perform the upgrade at home in half an hour. Once the kit arrives in the post, you plug the smartflash OBD into the car, swap in a high-flow air filter and download the mTune smartphone app, which runs you through how to recalibrate the ECU. It’s simple. But although most of Mountune’s previous upgrades haven’t affected Ford’s regular warranty, the m330 does. Yet Mountune provides its own cover (12 months or 12,000 miles) on the supplied hardware.
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On top of the extra power, the upgrade also brings a recalibrated launch-control mode, as well as a more aggressive exhaust note for the ST’s Sport and Track modes. On the road, the power hike is immediately obvious. There’s more power available across the entire rev band, so at any speed and in any gear there’s a notable difference in performance.
Crucially, the ST feels entirely comfortable with the extra power it has to handle; in fact, it feels like it could take more. Once you’re beyond 2,500rpm, the engine really gets into its stride, pulling strongly right up to the near-7,000rpm red line.
The front tyres have little trouble in putting that power to the road, biting into the tarmac and launching you forward. As you do this, the steering wheel does squirm a little more in your hands as it tries to handle the extra torque through the front axle, but it’s manageable and doesn’t spoil what feels a well judged power upgrade.
Everything gels and really comes together in Sport mode. Here a rev-matching function helps with downshifts, and the noise from the exhaust is turned up a notch, along with more aggressive pops and bangs when you lift off the throttle. The rest of the ST package remains as impressive as it has always been. The extra power only helps unlock more of the car’s potential.
|Model||Ford Focus ST Mountune m330|
|Engine||2.3-litre 4cyl turbo petrol|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive|