EngageSportMode is a fan of quick estates so, when given the chance to get behind the wheel of Ford’s latest hot load-lugger, we jumped at the opportunity.
To get it out of the way, the colour is called Tangerine Scream. Quite frankly it sums up the nature of the Focus ST Mountune perfectly. This car really does make you want to shout – in a good way – when you’re behind the wheel of it. So what makes this orange dog-carrier so much fun?
For a start, the Mountune badge is more than just additional yellow detailing. It adds serious extra firepower to the ST’s regular 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power increases from 247 bhp to a formidable 271 bhp, with torque rising to a thumping 295 lb-ft. That last figure is important, as it’s one which dominates the experience of the ST Mountune completely. In order to release the additional output from the EcoBoost engine, Mountune fits a new alloy air intake, free-flow air filter, bigger intercooler and remaps the ECU.
So, back to that torque figure. Being based on a hugely popular, world-market, car means that the Focus ST is composed and considerate when driving normally. Other than being gripped by the Recaro seats, or noticing the row of additional dials atop the dashboard, you could fool yourself into believing this was a ‘normal’ Focus. However, all this changes the moment you put the throttle pedal all the way to the floor and unleash the full potential of the fettled EcoBoost engine.
Accelerating in the ST Mountune becomes addictive after the first experience; that kick of torque, and the resulting charge towards the horizon, are something you’ll want to try again and again. Ford claims a 0-60 mph time of less than 6 seconds which, in the right circumstances, would seem believable. Top speed remains at a more than adequate 154 mph, with official economy a respectable 39.2 mpg. Just don’t expect it to stay that high if you use all the power of the ST all the time; fuel consumption dropped to less than 20 mpg during our time with the Mountune.
Whilst it may sound like this enhanced Focus is all about the engine, it should be noted that the Mountune still retains the same stable and well dampened suspension of the regular ST. In fact the ride comfort of the ST is one of the stand out features of its chassis dynamics. Whereas as many sporty hot hatches like to constantly remind you of their lowered and stiffened suspension settings, the ST avoids the back jarring and kidney punching experience.
Such composure makes the Focus ST Mountune a realistic everyday prospect, especially in estate form with that sizeable boot, providing you have the self-restraint to avoid full throttle all the time. The only real gripes with the ST concern the centre console, which presents itself as a myriad of buttons and dials on first acquaintance. EngageSportMode was also not a fan of the four-spoke steering wheel used – a three-spoke affair like the previous ST/RS would look so much better. These are only minor points, however, which do little to detract from the overall impressive nature of the ST Mountune.
Whether you truly need to fit the Focus ST with the Mountune kit is really a matter of personal taste. In standard form the regular 247 bhp ST is more than sufficient as a hot hatch, but the additional power and torque from the modified version elevate it towards something almost muscle car-esque. Given that the Mountune upgrade adds only £1,225 to the relatively bargain price of the Focus ST, can be fitted in 90 minutes by an approved Ford dealer and is still covered by the standard 3-year warranty, it really is an attractive proposition.
Whatever your opinion, EngageSportMode truly enjoyed the Focus ST Mountune and believes the world is a much better place for having a quick, loud and very brightly coloured estate in it.
What: Ford Focus ST Estate Mountune
How Much: Base price £23,095 OTR (estate) plus £1,225 kit
How Fast: 0-60 mph – under 6 seconds, 154 mph top speed
When: On Sale Now
Where: Your local Ford dealership
EngageSportMode drove the Ford Focus ST at the recent Guild of Motoring Writers Big Day Out. More articles on the day are to follow, but thank you to Ford UK for allowing us to test the ST Mountune.