Faster at last. It’s been months in the pipeline, but the Fondeo finally has the remap it deserves. And it really is a map worth waiting for.
It’s a commonly held belief that most remaps are much the same but with various brands and massively different prices. There are forums full of misguided folk who live in a fantasy world of eBay plug-ins equalling the months of testing that go into top tuners’ maps. But when you’re revising software a major motor manufacturer spent millions of pounds developing, it’s not the greatest idea to overwrite it with a programme bashed out by some nerd in his bedroom; worse still a cheap copy with crucial bits missing.
Which is why I deliberated for so long over which remap to choose. My ST250 is an everyday driver, not a track monster. It needs to be efficient and reliable. And I refuse to fit anything that’s not at least as good quality as original factory equipment.
In the end, that left me with only a few options. And I’m pretty sure I selected the best.
Peron is the name of the tuner behind the remap, a performance software (and hardware) design company boasting a rapidly-accelerating reputation for cutting-edge products with absolutely zero compromise on quality.
Peron’s remaps are available via an OBD flash programmer or – better still – by taking your car to an installer. AET Motorsport is the number one choice, having worked alongside Peron to develop performance packages for the entire EcoBoost range. With hundreds of STs under their belts and a constant stream of new gear on the cards (not to mention their own well-known Fiesta ST180), it’s no wonder the AET team has become big news in the Ford tuning scene.
AET Motorsport is also home to a Dynapack chassis dyno, which measures power and torque at the hubs rather than buggering around with the losses and variables caused by wheels and tyres on a traditional rolling road – meaning more accurate readings.
Time to get the Fondeo bolted on, then…
As standard, the figures were pretty impressive. With no modifications other than a Steeda CAIS the ST was making 245.6bhp and 278.3lb.ft at the hubs – which probably explains why it’s always felt relatively quick. Although it’s possible that the car’s first owner added a generic remap, the graph’s curve looked relatively stock.
The Peron remap immediately peaked power around 267bhp at the hubs, but that’s when the AET guys discovered a problem: in engineer’s terms, the car wasn’t hitting requested values; in other words, the turbo wasn’t following the ECU’s demands for boost, running at 1.4bar when it should be holding 1.6. With fuelling and ignition functioning perfectly, the culprit was suspected to be a failed diverter valve – probably due to age and wear, what with my Fondeo already having over 100k on the clock.
For the time being, the Peron stage one map was backed off to a very respectable 258.7bhp and 338.6lb.ft at the hubs, which equates to a flywheel figure of over 285bhp. It’s a very conservative tune, which retains all the factory safety thresholds and knock control, and means I can safely fill up with 95RON fuel when funds are a bit tighter, rather than the V-Power we were running for the rollers.
But don’t let the power figure fool you: the Peron map has made whopping improvements to drivability and sheer grin factor. In-gear acceleration makes exiting roundabouts addictive; overtaking a constant source of amusement.
The graph says top-end grunt isn’t hugely enhanced, but the way it’s delivered is enlightening. No one could accuse an ST250 of feeling laggy (its tiny turbo sees to that) but with the remap we’re now talking naturally-aspirated response. The whole car feels livelier and lighter – like hundreds of kilos have been slashed off the weight. Like a proper, traditional hot hatchback.
And that’s a sensation echoed by the trip computer, which shows a staggering increase of around 2mpg at motorway cruising speeds.
If there’s any detriment, the Fondeo feels a little less edgy in sixth gear, although it could be a psychological sensation based on throttle position. Even so, I’m confident all will be resolved next month when we fit an uprated dump valve and actuator.
Peron generally aims for up to 280bhp at the wheels on the stock ST250 turbo, which seems not just possible but absolutely vital. Let’s do it.
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