From £31,38510
Does an official Mountune upgrade of 25bhp and 30lb ft, improve the already rampant and rather magnificent Ford Focus RS?

Our Verdict

Ford Focus RS

Is Ford’s new AWD mega-hatch Focus RS as special as we first thought? And can it beat off stiff competition from the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A45?

  • First Drive

    Ford Focus RS Edition 2017 review

    New option pack adds front limited slip differential to the already stellar Ford Focus RS, but does it increase the fun?
  • First Drive

    2017 Ford Focus RS Mountune FPM375

    Does an official Mountune upgrade of 25bhp and 30lb ft, improve the already rampant and rather magnificent Ford Focus RS?

What is it?

The standard Ford Focus RS is a masterclass in imperfect perfection. It warranted a five-star road test, despite the fact that a Volkswagen Golf R is better everyday, simply because when the RS is in its element, it rather redefines what you'd expect of a hot hatch. We love it, flaws and all. At which point it becomes harder than ever to believe that a Mountune intervention can improve things.

Still, this upgrade - officially dubbed the Ford Performance by Mountune upgrade or FPM375 - is a collaboration between the well-known tuning arm and Ford itself, meaning that you can have the extra 25bhp and 30lb ft and still keep your warranty. It's also only £899, so the appeal is obvious, despite the brilliance of the standard car. The kit as a whole includes a re-flashed ECU, high-performance air filter, bespoke crossover duct and upgraded air re-circulation valve (or what many of us would know as a dump valve).    

What's it like?

It doesn't feel drastically different in normal use. Tool about in a moderately enthusiastic manner and the Mountune Focus RS delivers much the sort of robust, distance-warping performance that the standard RS already rolls out in abundance. It's when you find the right situation to roll your sleeves up, say a prayer, select Race and really go for it that the Mountune bits pay off.

The throttle response feels a touch crisper and the engine even more rabid from around 3000rpm onwards. You're not going to get booted into a hedge by some unexpected turbo lag, either. Even with a bit more power, the 2.3-litre turbo'd four-pot is joyously unfettered by ungainly peaks or plateaus in its power delivery, building speed progressively but with furious intent right through to the red line. 

It sounds a touch different; a bit more of a satisfying hiss of released pressure as you lift off the throttle, but otherwise much the same purposeful, resonant burble punctuated with the obligatory overrun pops and crackles. Mountune does, of course, offer a wide variety of other upgrades, including a £1050 'axle-back exhaust' (which also doesn't affect the warranty), but our car didn't have it fitted. 

The suspension is unaltered, so in hard use, you still get the addictive progression from a dependable whiff of understeer, through bullish neutrality before edging into manageable oversteer. Equally, the ride remains a bit wearisome in terms of its stiff vertical movement, but few will quibble, given the handling intensity you're getting in return. 

Should I buy one?

Hell, yes. The Focus RS is all about those moments when it feels far more than a hot hatch ever should; more mobile, more aggressive, more like a Nissan GT-R with five doors and a bargain price tag. The Mountune kit only makes those moments a fraction more spectacular, but it's a noticeable, euphoric fraction.

Plus, this upgrade nudges the RS even closer to titan hatches, such as the Mercedes-AMG A 45 and Audi RS3, and for not much cash in this context. So yes. Do buy a Focus RS, and do buy this Mountune kit. You won't ever regret either decision. 

Ford Focus RS Mountune FPM375

Location Surrey, UK; On sale now; Price £32,149; Engine 2261cc, turbo, petrol; Power 370bhp at 6000rpm (in overboost); Torque 376lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1547kg; 0-62mph 4.5sec; Top speed 165mph; Economy 36.7mpg; CO2/tax band 175g/km, 37% Rivals Mercedes-AMG A 45, Volkswagen Golf R 

Join the debate

Comments
16

20 January 2017
Useless article without instrumented comparison with the standard car, it may even be slower, without figures we don't know.Is that in the magazine?

Madmac

20 January 2017
25BHP for £899 with no effect on warrenty is a good deal, but you may need to warn that insurers would need to know and may charge more.

20 January 2017
Autocar wrote:

It doesn't feel drastically different in normal use. Tool about in a moderately enthusiastic manner and the Mountune Focus RS delivers much the sort of robust, distance-warping performance that the standard RS already rolls out in abundance. It's when you find the right situation to roll your sleeves up, say a prayer, select Race and really go for it that the Mountune bits pay off.

Unless you do a lot of track days, really only for boasting.

Citroëniste.

mfe

20 January 2017
A recirculation valve recirculates the waist turbo boost pressure back into the turbo inlet. A dump valve releases the pressure out into the atmosphere. Not the same thing at all!

mfe

20 January 2017
A recirculation valve recirculates the waist turbo boost pressure back into the turbo inlet. A dump valve releases the pressure out into the atmosphere. Not the same thing at all!

mfe

20 January 2017
A recirculation valve recirculates the waist turbo boost pressure back into the turbo inlet. A dump valve releases the pressure out into the atmosphere. Not the same thing at all!

21 January 2017
It's monumentally ugly, the dash is repulsive, and the Ford badge notifies that it is going to be utterly crap to own and the dealer will offer nothing but malice and contempt when asked to fix it. But Autocar will just continue to suck Ford's cock then bend over and take the Ford advertising budget in return.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

21 January 2017
This is advertisement, not journalism. As it ever occurs when Fords or JLR products are tested by this magazine.

21 January 2017
RednBlue wrote:

This is advertisement, not journalism. As it ever occurs when Fords or JLR products are tested by this magazine.

And McLaren too, the third part of the trinity which is above criticism.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

22 January 2017
bowsersheepdog wrote:
RednBlue wrote:

This is advertisement, not journalism. As it ever occurs when Fords or JLR products are tested by this magazine.

And McLaren too, the third part of the trinity which is above criticism.

And I always thought it was VAG and BMW that were above criticism in all the motoring press, after all what ever hatch you read about, a golf is better, more or less the same treatment with beemers. My local Ford dealer is far superior to my local VW dealer, which is why we bought a SEAT mii over an up or citigo. Ford,SEAT and loads more under one roof.

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