Mountune Ford Puma ST m260 2023 review | Daily News Byte

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The compact SUV is something we usually don’t like evo, with the physics of their taller stature dictating compromised dynamics and blunted response. However, with Ford Performance, the Puma ST has proven to be one of the best sellers, and now UK-based tuner Mountune has made it even sharper with its m260 package.

This more practical take on the hot Puma lacks the dynamic edge of a traditional hot hatchback like the smaller Fiesta, however, and with many rivals coming from a segment above, competitors like of the Hyundai Kona N and Volkswagen T-Roc R makes Ford’s 197bhp output a bit lackluster. Both rivals pair powertrains with closer to 300bhp with dual-clutch transmissions. Now, however, Mountune has closed that gap…

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At its heart is the same efficient 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost as the standard car and its Fiesta ST counterpart, but thanks to a combination of hardware and software tweaks, output is up to 256bhp and 269lb ft of torque – a hefty 59bhp and 33lb ft increase on average, with peak power arriving 450rpm earlier and peak torque 750rpm later than before. For comparison, this brings the Puma’s power-to-weight to 192bhp/tonne, more than the more expensive Hyundai Kona N’s 186bhp/tonne.

Power is sent to the front axle via a standard six-speed manual and limited-slip differential, with increased outputs helping it hit 62mph in 6sec flat, seven-tenths quicker than stock and half a second quicker. faster than the standard Fiesta ST. In practice, the powertrain upgrades are immediately noticeable from a standstill, with an increase in throttle response providing a sense of urgency lacking from the standard car, making rev matching more intuitive than ever. At speed, the extra output isn’t that obvious until you glance at the speedometer, but it undoubtedly bridges the speed gap between the standard car and its Fiesta ST sibling.

The tune doesn’t just increase power, as there’s also a more aggressive launch control function (though still not particularly effective) and optimized no-lift shift. There’s also increased exhaust overrun at lift-off, using Mountune’s aptly titled ‘Anti Social Mountune Overrun’ and the ability to return to standard power at the touch of a button via a smartphone app.

Perhaps more noticeable than the power increase is the improved shift feel, with this car fitted with both Mountune’s billet aluminum gearknob (£59) and short-shift arm (£99). The result is a 25 percent reduction in throw distance and a more tactile shift, which greatly improves one of the main downfalls of the Puma ST – the new shifter even retains the factory reverse mechanism, making DIY installation easy.

Chassis changes are limited to the Sport spring set (£190), lowering the ride height by 25mm for a marginal drop in the center of gravity – we’d be intrigued to try one with the uprated dampers, but the price may be more than on benefits. While the new springs alone aren’t something most people will notice on the road, the new lightweight Clubsport OZ Leggier wheels (£2059) will reduce unsprung weight for marginal performance gains. There is an improvement in off-centre steering response and a noticeable increase in grip levels, but these benefits are likely thanks to the fitment of sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on this example.

Like the Fiesta it’s based on, the Puma fares surprisingly well with an extra helping of power, while the chassis remains composed and responsive. We’re sure that even with standard-fit Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, the Puma will handle the extra output without issue, but the Cup 2s take things even further.

Peek into the lower intake and you’ll find a neatly integrated Mountune-branded intercooler (£575), upgraded to maintain temperatures, with a new matte carbonfibre induction kit (£399) boosting airflow and intake sound. On the subject of sound, there’s also a GPF-back 60mm exhaust system with carbon tips (£799) and a rather addictive dump valve, which adds a dose of extra drama to the driving experience – if some will appreciate less these subtle changes. in a family crossover, I’m not sure. If you want more volume, however, the less restrictive Sports GPF and catalytic converters are also in the works.

In terms of exterior design, this particular example is adorned with Mountune decals (£85) for a more aggressive aesthetic, with lightweight black wheels, a Mountune-branded intercooler, mud flaps and carbon exhaust tips adding also in appearance. Of course, if you want to tone things down and keep the stock look, you can opt out of any of these additions and choose only the upgrades that suit your needs.

The m260 (£695) set-up isn’t all that Mountune has to offer, with the m235 (£595) and a range-topping m285 (£2449) package also available for the Puma ST. The package we had on test didn’t strictly require any additional hardware, but a new carbon induction kit (£399), upgraded charge pipe (£166) and intercooler (£575) are all recommended for maximize performance and ensure longevity. The m285 kit required some significant hardware changes to achieve maximum output reliably, including a revised factory turbocharger, new induction kit, charge pipe, intercooler and forged pistons and rods.

Prices and competitors

With expensive wheels, an induction kit and aesthetic modifications, this Mountune demo car isn’t a particularly cost-effective way to spruce up your performance crossover. Although the changes still don’t completely defy the laws of physics to offer a superior driving experience in the Fiesta ST, pick and choose the tweaks that suit you best and you can completely improve the superb standard car to provide a unique blend of practicality and performance.

The standard Ford Puma ST starts at £32,350 with the all-important Performance Pack, putting it at a £5000 premium over the equivalent Fiesta ST from the start. Tick ​​enough boxes with the Mountune and you’ll soon be among the more powerful DCT-equipped Hyundai Kona N, priced from £35,820. Stick with the changes, though, and you can have yourself a practical, sharp-edged Puma ST at a very reasonable price.

Mountune Ford Puma ST m260 specs

machine Four cylinder, turbocharged, 1.5-liter
power 256bhp @ 5550rpm
Torque 269lb ft @ 3250rpm
Weight 1358kg (192bhp/tonne)
0-62mph 6.0sec (estimated)
Fastest 145mph (estimated)

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