What is it?
Three wheels or two, it genuinely doesn’t seem to matter. For one of the friendliest but also most addictively feral performance cars from any era and at any price, anything less than the full four contact patches appears to be its preferred mode of attack.
The M235’s gymnastic talent is something we’ll return to but, on paper, tuning stalwart Mountune’s latest take on the Ford Fiesta ST is simply for the person who wants an everyday supermini but craves something hotter in the engine bay.
This £890 aftermarket kit duly delivers, pushing Ford’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ecoboost engine to the brink of what it can reliably muster before stronger internals are required at considerable cost. Power rises from 197bhp to 232bhp while torque increases 44lb ft to 258lb ft for a 0-62mph time that sneaks below six seconds and midrange performance that feels, to put it lightly, decidedly grown-up.
The hardware changes are modest, and that’s reflected in the price. Included is an upgraded aluminium airbox, high-flow panel filter and a new lower air-feed hose, which together prepare the ground for an ‘mTune’ smartflash drive to plug into the car’s OBD port and safely lay down Mountune’s engine map. The software can then be switched off (and back on again) via your smartphone, and there’s one very good, exhaust-related reason why you might want to.
That is the basic M235 upgrade. However, as with all of Mountune’s development cars, this particular Fiesta ST exists as a rolling menu of everything an owner on a generous but not bottomless budget might try.
It therefore uses Mountune’s high-flow induction hose (£85) and beautifully finished throttle body elbow (£99). Look through the lower grille and you’ll also see a new prototype intercooler, which maintains performance through a wide range of ambient temperatures and is expected to cost around £350. You may have noticed the car is also sitting closer to the ground than standard – by 20mm, thanks to new springs (also prototypes, so no price) that use similar load settings to the factory items, only with less travel.
The final mechanical mods consist of Mountune’s billet quick-shift kit, which for £150 shaves one quarter from the travel of the gearshift throw, and a big-brake upgrade with 302mm discs up front, for £1295.
The remainder are cosmetic additions: the decals, rear wing and chunky mud-flaps don’t add any performance but do bring a street-fighter look to match the car’s pace.