When mountune opened their doors for their recent MoFoCo event (see page 86 for the full report) one of the most eagerly-anticipated releases to be unveiled on the day was their new power upgrade for the Mk8 Fiesta ST. The m225 package features mountune’s high-flow induction kit combined with the m225 calibration to deliver gains of up 55Nm and 26PS over the stock ST. Or, for those who want to use a different induction kit, the m225 is available as a ‘Lite’ version which is just the calibration file.
And the way that calibration file is installed is something of a game-changer, not just for Fords but car tuning in general. The new m225 file is delivered using mountune’s new SMARTflash system; a clever app-based software that allows you to install the revised software settings directly from your smart phone or tablet! SMARTflash uses a Bluetooth adaptor that plugs into the OBD port, which then allows the mountune app on your phone or tablet (download from the App Store or Google Play) to connect to the car. It’s pretty neat, and ridiculously easy to use too. It’s fast too – we timed it at about 90 seconds to install the full m225 calibration file.
In my mind it’s a much neater solution than having to plug in any specific handsets or laptops, and now that mountune have successfully got the car talking to your phone surely this is just the start of something of a tuning revolution. I can’t imagine it will be long before we’ll be able to stream live data to our phones, use them for data logging and analysis, and even use an app to adjust the map settings and switch between power levels – all from your phone. Watch this space, I’m telling you this is just the beginning.
So, the technology is brilliant, but what is the m225 software it delivers actually like? I’m going to look a bit silly after singing the praises of the SMARTflash system if the actual tune it delivers is underwhelming. Thankfully it’s not. Far from it. It’s actually brilliant.
After the Cars and Coffee event had finished, I was given the keys to the m225 and set free into the Essex countryside to go and have some fun. And boy did I enjoy it. I’ve driven all manner of cars on these roads, and I have to say that the m225 was easily among the most fun I’ve had on them. It may not have as much outright power as some of the Focus and Mustang models I’ve driven along these tight and twisty and roads, but the m225 complements the chuckable nature of the Mk8 ST perfectly, meaning you can really get hold of it by the scruff of the neck and give it death.
And, the best bit, is it rewards you for it! Not only do you profit from a barrage of pops and bangs from the exhaust, but the m225’s eagerness to rev and keenness to get going means you can literally hold your foot on the throttle until the limiter in every gear. It’s stupid amounts of fun.
The Mk8 ST has an excellent chassis as standard, which is undoubtedly helps you get the maximum enjoyment from the power upgrades up front, but this particular car benefits from mountune’s soon-to-be-released lowering springs and big brake kit too. The brakes, in particular, make a massive difference to how you drive the car and would be high-up my personal wish-list for Mk8 upgrades for sure.
I’m sure out on fast, sweeping A-roads, motorways, and even on track, the m225’s comparatively low power figures compared to models like the Focus RS and Mustang would show up more readily, but out here on these rally-like B-roads and sub-urban streets the m225 is more than match for the big guns. No, in fact, it’s better; the mix of instant throttle response, low-down torque, and lightweight, fantastic-handling chassis make the m225 an easier car to drive fast, and that makes it more rewarding to drive too.
While the little three-cylinder EcoBoost is never going to grab the headline bhp figures, for me that’s not what the Fiesta ST is all about. It’s a real-world car, to be driven by real-world people in real-world situations. And that’s where the m225 delivers best; 0-60 in 5.9seconds, but probably more appropriate to how these cars will be driven, it chops a second off the standards ST’s 31-62mph time.
Perhaps then, this is the perfect test drive feature for our ‘old vs new’ issue. I won’t deny the older models have their appeal (and plenty of it), but did you ever think you’d see the day when a three-cylinder Fiesta produces the same sort of power as the mighty Cosworth-badged models of the 80s and 90s? Well, that’s exactly what we’ve got here… and you can map it from your phone. Isn’t modern technology fantastic?
m225 kit – £795
m2255 ‘Lite’ – £575