Our Driven feature is a bit odd this month, mainly because it’s not a demo car we’ve been driving around but our own 1.0-litre Fiesta project car. It may sound a little weird to review our own car but when you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense; we get to spend much longer behind the wheel to experience a selection of different driving conditions, and we already have a thorough understanding of how the standard car performs so are fantastically placed to talk about the difference the upgrades have made.

We recently installed a full Revo Stage 2 upgrade to the car (read the full feature in the April issue) but before that we first upgraded to Revo’s Stage 1 spec and drove that around for about 1000miles to get a feel for things.

The Stage 1 upgrade from Revo consists of nothing more than a remap, meaning it’s relatively cheap (at £419) and really easy to install – a Revo dealer can do it in a matter of minutes. But don’t think that because it’s quick and easy to install it doesn’t make much difference, because it does! It makes a lot of difference!

The Stage 1 remap really livens things up. The 140PS versions like our Fiesta Red are quite impressive in standard form, but with Revo’s Stage 1 map in place it’s much faster! With the revised map installed the car is no longer just “quick for a 1.0-litre”, it’s a rapid little thing in it’s own right!

Our car made a very impressive 138hp at the wheels on Revo’s hub dyno, which equates to a rather naughty 160bhp or thereabouts at the flywheel. That’s more power than a stock Mk6 Fiesta ST150 – and you wouldn’t call that a ‘slow’ car! And the way the Stage 1 map delivers this power is very similar to that of a tuned naturally aspirated car too, so it makes you drive it much more aggressively than you would pilot the standard car. The low-down urgency and mid-range grunt is awesome! And when compared with the Stage 1 settings, the original map actually feels quite flat.

If you’re a 1.0-litre Fiesta owner I urge you to try Revo’s Stage 1 upgrade – you’ll not believe the transformation it makes to the car! I loved the Fiesta at this level, and personally think it offers the perfect blend of cost, economy, comfort, and performance for anyone who uses their Fiesta as a daily driver.

But what about Stage 2? Well, that’s a bit more expensive but it’s even better! This is currently the most powerful upgrade Revo offer for the 1.0-litre Fiesta, and it builds on the Stage 1 by adding performance hardware to the mix. Their Stage 1 software takes things as far as Revo are prepared to go on the original equipment, but by adding a performance exhaust including sports cat or de-cat (we chose Cobra Sport on our car), replacing the stock intercooler with a larger capacity item (we opted for Airtec’s Stage 2 item), and fitting a better-flowing air filter (can be done with just a performance panel filter in the OE airbox, but we fitted a full induction kit from Auto Specialists) the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine can breathe better and has the potential to produce yet more performance. And the key to unlock that potential is Revo’s Stage 2 software. On the dyno our car made a very impressive 151whp, which is around 178bhp with the full Stage 2 package fitted!

Just like Revo’s Stage 1 software, the Stage 2 car feels alive and urgent from the moment you press the throttle, and continues to pull hard through the mid range. But the biggest difference between the Stage 1 and Stage 2 upgrades is found when you keep your foot in and start to pull higher revs. If you short shift and aren’t one for keeping your foot in, you’ll not enjoy the full benefits of the Stage 2 over the Stage 1. The Stage 2 keeps hold of the power for much longer, and doesn’t tail off at the higher revs – holding over 150whp from 5,000rpm through to 6,500rpm! This means that you can just keep accelerating right up to the rev limiter!

This, coupled to the more exciting audible experience offered by the enhanced induction and exhaust note makes the Fiesta feel much more like a sports or performance car than a mass-produced hatchback!

In fact, because of the shorter gearing in the 1.0-litre cars, Revo say a Stage 2-equipped 1.0-litre is faster to 60mph than a standard ST! It’s a lot more exciting than a totally standard ST too – and still offers all the benefits of a 1.0-litre, such as cheap tax, cheaper insurance, and fantastic economy. I would much rather own a 1.0-litre Fiesta with Revo’s Stage 2 upgrade than a standard Fiesta ST…. Oh, hang on, I do! What more proof do you need!?