It might look like your standard Fiesta ST, but underneath, Charlie Windwood’s example is packing one hell of a punch.
Words: Chris Pics: Bruce Holder
Modifying a Ford is, for the best part, a path that can go one of two ways. You could opt to be all about the show, making sure you’re rocking the best visual accessories to make your beloved Blue Oval stand out from the crowd. The other option, of course, is to focus on the go, by squeezing out as much power as possible from the cylinders hiding under your bonnet. There are overlaps of these, of course, where power and looks both come into play, but, generally speaking, the were will be a lean towards one path or the other as the build develops.
Charlie here, with his Fiesta, clearly hasn’t gone down the show route. Don’t get us wrong, the car is minty-fresh and looks magnificent, but, stickers side, you could park this on the lot of any Ford garage in the country and it’d garner no more attention than any other Fiesta ST that might be there. It still rocks the standard alloys, it is not giving away one single hint about what it actually is.
Before we get to that though, lets take a look at Charlie, the owner. At just 20, he’s already in an enviable position by owning an ST. He’s a metalworker, based in Kent and, to get around, his initial foray into motoring came in the guise of a 1.0 Corsa. Now, frankly, enough time in one of those would put you off driving for life. Thankfully for Charlie, it just made him even more determined to have something spectacular as its replacement. So, many hours were worked, many metals were fabricated and stuff, and before he knew it, he was in a dealership, slapping down some cash on a white Fiesta ST.
Then, once it was delivered, he lived happily every after with his nippy Fiesta. The end. Thanks for reading.
Of course that’s no what happened. He bought it, then immediately set about making it much, much faster. What Car? has just named the Fiesta ST the car of the year, based on its looks, it’s astounding performance and its killer chassis, but those elements aren’t enough for young Charlie. He’s a man who needs some power under his right foot, so power is what he sought.
First things first, let’s look at the engine and what’s been done there. There’s a lot of Revo clobber on and in this car’s oily and electronic bits, but that’s okay, because Revo are a bit of a dab hand at this kind of thing. As such, there’s stage three mapping software to make sure Charlie is getting all the power he should be. This is handy, because the factory turbo has gone in the bin and has been replaced by a Peron Superstock hybrid item. On the back of that, there’s a 3inch de-cat downpipe along with a Cobra 3inch non-resonated system. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of a non-resonated system, put it this way, Charlie’s Fez is anything but shy and retiring in the noise department – while it might look like a stock ST, the noise it produces quickly reminds you it’s a long, long way from standard.
There’s more clobber under the bonnet such as the AutoSpecialist stage 2 induction kit, the Pro Alloy intake elbow, MK1 Focus RS plugs, Airtex intercooler (stealth fit, obviously) and lots of other bits and bobs – see the tech box, that’s what it’s there for.
The end result is a car that’s kicking out somewhere in the region of 300bhp, which when you consider an original Escort RS Cosworth came with 225bhp, is some going. Somewhat handily, the chassis of the Fez is a bit more advanced than a shortened Sierra floorpan, so Charlie didn’t need to do too much to make sure the power goes to the floor. A set of Mountune springs help tighten things up, along with a full compliment of Black Series bushes. It might not seem like a revolution in chassis dynamics, but when the Fiesta’s factory offerings are so good, there’s no need to go mad. Plus, this is a daily driver, too, so if Charlie can keep all his teeth every time he hits a pothole, that’s a bonus, too.
Other tweaks include some work to the brakes, which again, is nothing insane, it’s just enough to keep things tight in light of the added power. So, on that basis, Charlie has fitted some Ferodo DS200 pads and some braided lines, of which the latter are filled with uprated fluid to cope with the extra stresses.
In terms of the visuals, there’s really not a lot to give away what’s going on. There are some Revo stickers and some tweaks to the lights and plates, but that’s about it. Like we said, and as you can see, even the wheels are standard.
There’s a lot of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ going on with this car, and that’s good. Sure, some may wondering why the brakes aren’t massive, or why it’s not running coilovers, so on and so forth. The fact of the matter is that this is a new car, so the standard stuff can cope. The power, while huge amounts of fun, isn’t trying to pull the firewall from the A pillars, it’s an amount that’s easily handled by the rigid shell of the Fiesta.
Furthermore, this car isn’t about wowing the masses or winning shows, it’s more pure than that. It’s built for Charlie and his enjoyment, and on that front, the lad’s winning in a big way. He has a car here that’s a beast when he gives it a kicking, but if he needs to drop his nan off at the shops, it can do that too, without her having to negotiate a roll cage, harnesses and a bucket seat to do so.
As Fiesta’s go, this one is pretty much perfect if you ask us. It’s the right balance of fun and usable, but with 300bhp at its core, it’s also a great way to seriously show up some of the bigger boys, too! Plus, and this is the main thing, it’s not a Vauxhall Corsa 1.0.
Engine: Revo stage 3 mapping software, Peron Superstock hybrid turbo, Cobra 3inch de-cat downpipe, Cobra 3inch non-resonated system, AS stage 2 induction kit, Pro Alloy large bore intake elbow, Forge lower boost pipe, JS Performance induction hose in blue, Mk1 RS spark plugs, sound symposer delete, Airtec stage 3 intercooler, Forge blow off valve, Turbosmart internal wastegate actuator, power roughly 300bhp
Transmission: Standard Fiesta ST
Suspension: Mountune lowering springs, full Black Series polybush kit front and rear
Brakes: Ferodo DS200 pads, braided brake lines, DOT 5.1 brake fluid
Interior: Standard Recaro buckets, Mountune floor mats, Pro Sport A-pillar boost gauge, stripped sound deadening, blue courtesy light, blue footwell lights, blue boot light
Exterior: De-badged rear, Revo gel overlay, 95% tints, short arial, Team Heko wind deflectors, 3D gel number plates, Cree LED sidelights, 8k headlight bulbs, gloss black finished intercooler, gloss back exterior plastics. Cobra 4″ single tip exhaust.
This article first appeared in Performance Ford Magazine February 2016