A couple of issues ago we announced that mountune had developed further updates to their already-impressive m400 performance packages for the Focus RS. As you know, I was already running the m400 software after upgrading from the m380 calibration back in the summer, so naturally I was keen to see what the m400R was all about.

I won’t bore you with all the details here (you can head to mountune’s website to find out all the finer points) but basically the m400R is the latest version of the same m400 software I was already running, but with added extras such as permanently active launch control, full-throttle shifting, adjustable traction control settings for launch control and so on. And the best news of all, is that for existing m400 customers looking to migrate to m400R, the update is totally free. And even better than that, you can update it yourself from the comfort of your own driveway, simply by downloading the latest m400R version to the m-Tune handset and installing that to the car.

But the burning question is ‘what’s it like?’ Well, it’s awesome! I love it. The m400 upgrade was already impressive, and the R retains the same ferocious power delivery combined with driveability and refinement as offered by the m400 software. But it also unlocks a host of other options and toys to play with.

The first of which is the permanently activated launch control. The launch system on the RS is actually pretty damn impressive, but like most owners I hardly7 ever used it purely because it was too much of a faff to scroll through all the menu settings to activate it. By which time, you could have just pulled away normally and be half way up the road anyway. Instead, the m400R has the launch system permanently activated. That means as soon as you pull to stop, the system is on- just hold the throttle and drop the clutch for optimum launches! And, you can even play around with the launch rev limiter and the traction control settings for the amount of slip allowed too. All very clever stuff.

Another feature the ‘R’ unlocks is full-throttle gear shifts (called FFS, flat-foot shifting, on the handset) I was expecting this one to be tricky to master, but it’s surprising quick to get your head around… and surprisingly addictive too. You just keep your foot planted, and when you hit the clutch to shift gears the ECU sorts itself out to keep the revs at whatever you’ve set them at.

The m400R also adds the OEM power tune, a fuel economy calibration, valet mode, the ability to turn the RDU (rear-drive unit) on and off (handy for using dynos in FWD-only) and an anti-theft mode too.

Some may say these extra features are gimmicks and you don’t need them. Maybe not, but they definitely add some extra fun, and considering they are free for any existing m400 customer you’d have to be a bit daft not to add them