Fiesta STreets: Bolting On The Bolt-Ons
When we checked in last, Fiesta STreets had received some upgraded lighting courtesy of our friends at Ford Racing. In that update we also hinted that the car was getting some Mountune love as well. Let’s go over all of that, shall we?
As the title to this article suggests, the mods being discussed here are of the bolt-on variety. When the modification bug hits, it usually starts with fairly simple stuff, such as lowering springs, performance air filters, and possibly even an ECU upgrade. Simple doesn’t have to mean ineffective, and the truth is today’s direct-injected turbocharged cars offer quite a bit of upgrade potential, even when going the simple route.
In addition to the aforementioned headlight upgrade, we’ve already covered the awesome KW ST-XTA coilover upgrade we performed at the start of the project. For this article, we’re going to focus on Mountune’s Quick Shift kit, as well as their MP215 engine upgrade kit (intake and ECU upgrades). For some extra power we chose to go with Mountune’s beefy intercooler upgrade as well. As usual, we took our Fiesta to Tom at Panzer Performance for the work we wanted to get done.
The name Mountune has become a pretty regular one here at Project ST, and for good reason. When it comes to today’s modern performance Fords, no one understands the engineering intricacies as well as Mountune does. Over the course of the Project ST campaign we’ve sought the advice/help/counseling of our contacts at Mountune UK as well as their US headquarters. We see no reason to not continue doing so in the future – these guys are the best.
The Fiesta ST in stock form is no slouch. The little 1.6 EcoBoost has the torque numbers of a much bigger engine and the low revs at which that torque is available is truly impressive. Mountune hasn’t set out to rewrite the way the 1.6 behaves, but rather to enhance it in a variety of meaningful ways, and their MP215 kit does exactly that.
Many owners tend to go with an ECU upgrade first, and while that makes sense in a lot of ways, we took a different approach. We began the engine mod path with Mountune’s upgraded intercooler kit and intake system. Our car is currently garaged in SW Florida, and heat soak is a real issue. Lower intake air temps make the most of any ignition timing help from an ECU upgrade and an increase in air on the intake side motivates that ECU to add extra fuel.
The installation for both kits couldn’t have been more straightforward and for extra peace of mind, Mountune provides detailed instructions. The net effect from adding these two upgrades was subtle, but definitely noticeable. Throttle response improved and the upper ranges of the powerband seemed a bit stronger as well. Even after repeated hard pulls, we didn’t notice as much heat soak as we did before, no doubt thanks to the new intercooler. We should note that our car already had a Ford racing cat-back exhaust system installed and no doubt it helped in making the most of the two completed mods. After all, if you’re gonna bring extra air into an engine, you gotta be able to get it back out, right?
After spending a couple weeks with our new mods combined with the stock ECU, we figured it was time to perform the Mountune ECU portion of the MP215 upgrade. As you might imagine, this is the part of the kit that makes things truly interesting. Mountune advertises gains of almost 20-hp and 35 lb-ft of torque, and ours was calibrated to work with the lower intake air temps the bigger intercooler provides. It’s not just the peak numbers that stand out in the real world, but rather at what RPM they make themselves known. There is now so much more low-end grunt and the mid-range performance increase is truly impressive. With the MP215 kit Mountune has taken a car that was already punching well above its weight and dialed it up to 11. It’s still the same exact willing and playful companion as always, but after all that Mountune magic our companion is a lot more insistent in making sure it gets enough playtime.
Adding to the joys of Fiesta ST playtime is the Mountune Quick Shift kit upgrade. It’s really awesome when one of the simplest (and most affordable) mods can make such a great improvement in day-to-day driving, and the Quick Shift totally qualifies in that description. The installation was simple and the 25% reduction in shift throws and the more solid and precise shift action are noticed and appreciated every time you shift the ST’s excellent 6-speed transmission.
As we stated in the beginning of this article, simple mods can definitely be effective mods, and what we’ve done so far certainly qualifies. Our Fiesta ST is still the awesome all-around performer it’s always been – it’s just that now it’s just all-around better. What’s next for Fiesta STreet’s little 1.6EB? We know Mountune has some serious hp upgrades planned, so let’s just say we’re going to go with those.