A snappy exhaust and engine management tweaks make all the difference.
Blue Oval hot hatch fans here in the UK have a spicy option for the Ford Fiesta ST. Tuning company Pumaspeed has a power upgrade package that boosts the mighty three-pot turbo to 245 bhp, and to put an exclamation point on it, there's a Miltek exhaust upgrade that provides more pops and bangs than a fireworks display.
Sideways Sid on YouTube had an opportunity to take the tuned hatchback for a spin, and brought a few cameras along for the trip. Pumaspeed’s upgrade package actually doesn’t involve too much in the way of parts – the company retains the stock turbo and pretty much everything else connected to the powertrain, save for an upgraded intercooler. The exhaust is swapped out with the aforementioned Miltek can that emits all kinds of delectable noise, while a new induction pipe helps the car pull in outside air.
Gallery: Ford Fiesta ST by Pumaspeed
The real magic happens with Pumaspeed’s software update and engine remap. The tuning work is tied into the Fiesta ST’s various driving modes, allowing the car to operate as a standard-issue ST for daily duties. In sport mode, things get a bit more interesting as the test drive indicates. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder sounds positively angry under acceleration, and more power is never a bad thing. Actually, too much power in a small front-wheel-drive application can lead to some nasty side effects, but 245 bhp seems to be a very manageable number in the current Fiesta.
The exhaust tips and subtle roof spoiler add a bit of style to the Fiesta’s looks, as do Pumaspeed side skirts. This particular car also benefits from a slightly lowered suspension, though we could do without the boy-racer body wrap.
If Ford were to pull the trigger on a proper Fiesta RS, we can’t image it would be much different than this tuned version. Unfortunately, such a creature isn’t in the automaker’s playbook, and for those in North America, the Fiesta itself will be gone soon enough. Thankfully it looks like we’ll have plenty of aftermarket support to fill in the void until Ford comes to its senses.