December 7, 2022

Constructing on its m235 improve for the Mk8 Fiesta ST, Mountune has upped the ability with the m260 equipment… And Jamie from Quick Ford has been driving it.

Assessment from Quick Ford. Images: David Moore.

A few months in the past I sampled Mountune’s m260 improve within the new Puma ST, however now I’m again to check out the identical 254bhp tuning package deal within the Mountune Fiesta ST Mk8.

I’ve pushed this automotive earlier than, when it first arrived in m225 guise after which once more with the revised m235 software program again in September 2020. As with the Puma, the m235 software program solely actually wants a greater induction equipment to ship optimum efficiency, however the m260 takes issues to the following degree and as such requires some {hardware} enhancements to the intercooler and pipework to work effectively.

The event automotive I’m driving right here additionally has a couple of different efficiency goodies bolted on: Mountune’s short-shift arm, roll restrictor, GPF-back exhaust system and decreasing springs. As you’ll be able to see from the images, this automotive had a improvement brake equipment on the time too, however the Mountune engineers are nonetheless engaged on that one…

After I final drove this automotive, a lot of these {hardware} upgrades have been already in place (as Mountune was already busy engaged on the brand new software program even approach again then), so how does it examine now that it’s operating the m260 software program?

Effectively, earlier than I get to that, let’s begin with the similarities as a substitute. Similar to the m235, it’s very OEM-plus in its nature; it nonetheless feels very stable and reliable round city and in site visitors, it’s quiet and comfy for day by day use (though the GPF-back exhaust does convey a welcome added little bit of theatre to proceedings), and while you do get out on some twisty B-roads it nonetheless feels extremely punchy between gears. It all the time amazes me how a small-capacity three-cylinder engine can really feel so torquey, particularly popping out of slower and tighter corners.

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After all, this automotive having the Quaife ATB diff as a part of the optionally available Efficiency Pack actually helps, however the linear and easy energy supply is the important thing ingredient to the added get-up-and-go.

That’s all very very like the m235, so what does all the additional money spent on {hardware} upgrades and the m260 provide you with?

Effectively, principally extra of it. There’s undeniably a bit of additional urgency and the m260 punches its approach out of these corners that little bit tougher, however the greatest distinction might be discovered after you exit the nook and preserve the throttle pedal pinned.

With the {hardware} upgrades permitting the 1.5-litre EcoBoost to breathe extra freely, the Mountune Fiesta ST m260 retains getting higher with revs. The enhance builds good and early, from round 2000rpm, and it simply pulls and pulls all the best way spherical to the rev restrict. Doing so means you’ll be able to rifle by means of the gears with addictive ease – helped by the 25 per cent discount in throw provided up by the short-throw arm fitted to this automotive.

Mountune Fiesta ST m260

However, as with the m235, the quickest option to make progress is to shift up simply earlier than you hit 6000rpm; the ability and torque each begin to drop off after this. By nailing the shift factors, the revs drop proper again into that candy spot the place most torque is being delivered – 3000-to-5000rpm – and you’ll experience that wave of grunt over again.

As with the Puma, there’s two variations of the m260 accessible to put in: the Efficiency  and the ASMO (Anti-Social Mountune Overrun) calibrations. As soon as once more, because of the iPad Mountune has left within the glovebox and the flamboyant SMARTflash system, it solely takes a few minutes to modify between the 2.

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The Efficiency calibration permits flat-shifting, which is one thing I’ve turn into accustomed to in my very own Mountune-tuned Focus RS, however I confess I loved my time with the ASMO calibration put in only for the sheer giggle issue.

The Efficiency model actually doesn’t mute the pops and bangs, however Mountune says these are optimised ranges. I think which means simply sufficient to remain on the best facet of offensive, and never sufficient to get you kicked off a monitor day for tripping the noise meters.

However the ASMO calibration is a full-on onslaught of snaps and crackles each time you carry off the throttle. Amplified by means of the GPF-back exhaust on this automotive, it sounds extra like an assault rifle being fired into the air within the centre of Kabul than a bit of Fiesta driving by means of the leafy Essex countryside.

As a lot enjoyable because the ASMO model is, if I owned one, I believe I’d run the Efficiency calibration. The extreme pops and bangs are nice to have, however I fear I’d tire of them on a regular basis… Plus the flat-shift works so effectively with that wave of torque that I’d take it over a lairy soundtrack each time.

And that brings me again to what I like most in regards to the m260 ST – it’s a correct little efficiency automotive. Sure, it’s comfy and compliant sufficient for day by day use (as you’d count on it to be) however I can solely think about it would maintain its personal on monitor too.

Mountune Fiesta ST m260

I’d like to take this automotive round someplace like Cadwell Park or Blyton Park as a result of, if the Essex countryside is something to go by, it’s certain to be an actual weapon that may shock loads of extra highly effective and extra exotic-sounding machines.

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The Mountune SMARTflash system, together with m235 and m260 calibrations, prices £675. After all, you’ll want the {hardware} upgrades too, however given the very fact you’re studying this journal I think a lot of you’ll already be operating efficiency intakes and intercoolers anyway.

If not, the total equipment of Mountune {hardware} upgrades required to run the m260 will set you again about £1000, however we’d suggest including the exhaust at one other £700 too in case you can stretch to it. That may sound like lots, however for the distinction it makes and the for the sheer enjoyable issue it brings, it actually isn’t. Plus, in case you might have added this lot to the choices sheet for an additional £2400 while you ordered the automotive out of your supplier, you already would have carried out so.

The Mk8 Fiesta ST platform will undoubtedly have extra to present, however the m260 might very effectively be the proper mix between value, efficiency and practicality.

Mountune Fiesta ST m260

Fast spec: Mountune Fiesta ST m260

Mk8 Fiesta ST-3, Ford Efficiency Pack, Mountune upgrades embrace m260 software program, intercooler improve, charge-pipe improve, induction equipment, high-flow induction hose, high-flow throttle elbow, auxiliary chilly air consumption, roll restrictor, GPF-back exhaust, decreasing springs, short-throw shifter arm, sport springs, improvement brake equipment