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Mountune’s boss talks us through the company’s silly 513bhp Focus ‘M520’

by Tom Harrison, 8 Jun 2020

With much of its business nowadays coming from those clever plug-and-play kits you can buy online and install yourself, which rewrite a few lines of code in your car’s computer to give it more go, it’s easy to forget Mountune has been building and supplying racing engines for some 40 years. Mostly for Ford, with which it’s won a tonne of races and rallies. It’s that expertise that’s helped it develop this – a Focus RS with an astonishing, outrageous and totally unnecessary 513bhp and 516lb ft. It’s called the M520, and it was announced last August.

Mountune didn’t set out to build a 513bhp Focus, says boss Alec Pell-Johnson. His company already offered kits for the Focus RS giving more modest power increases, but then customers started asking for MORE. And Mountune knew that, thanks in part to colleagues in the US, that with the right changes to its internals the Focus’s 2.3-litre turbocharged engine could take it.

“We initially thought if we do ten this year [2019] that’ll be great. But we sold the first ten in about a month,” Alec tells us. “A lot of the guys are going from standard, which is an enormous change. Also an enormous amount of work.” The upgrade costs over £15,000 including labour and takes Mountune’s mechanics about a week – less on both counts if the car’s owner already has some of the right kit installed.

The techs usually pull the engine completely out of the car, before stripping it down and fitting the stronger components it needs to make supercar-power. “We source those parts from our race engines. And we already knew they could handle the power, because they run in the BTCC,” says Alec. “Quite a few of the bits are interchangeable.”

The main components of the upgrade are the all-important forged internals, plus a bigger, better turbocharger with ceramic bearings from BorgWarner (the single most expensive component). Then there’s the high-pressure fuel pump and countless new hoses and gaskets, a three-inch exhaust and upgraded intake and intercooler. “You need the full air-cooling, oil-cooling, water-cooling kits,” Alec explains. “We haven’t ever had any overheating problems on ours, nor any we’ve ever done as far as I know.”

When the mechanics have finished putting the engine together and have successfully reunited it with the car itself, Mountune usually does around 500 miles of testing before handing it back to its owner, just to make sure everything’s working as it should. And said owners come from miles around – Alec tells us of a chap who drove down from an island off the northern coast of Norway to have his RS worked on, while just this year owners have driven over from Germany and Romania.

We were all set to have a go in Mountune’s development car, then lockdown struck and delayed our plans. But worry not, the TG review is coming.

How to build a 513bhp Ford Focus RS
 

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All that money and by paying customers of the M520 are taking the cars to Sabre to get the required power as Mountune mapping is rubbish and is giving results as low as 460 (crank) from an alleged 520 (crank) package.
Their are Rumours of a UK lawsuit against Mountune for this product by paying customers.
 

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All that money and by paying customers of the M520 are taking the cars to Sabre to get the required power as Mountune mapping is rubbish and is giving results as low as 460 from an alleged 520 package.
Rumours of a UK lawsuit against Mountune for this product by paying customers.
460 to the wheels is well above 520 crank.
 

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I think carwow on youtube had this car on their runway.
Suffice it to say it was the slowest compared to equivalent vehicles.
One of the big factors was the manual gearbox as the RS launched quite well.
Once the launch control process was over, the car could no longer put the power down.
It was last in pretty much all tests.
 

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E63S - 612 HP / 850 NM - Quarter Mile : 11.2s / Minimum Kerb Weight / 1990 kg
G63 - 585 HP / 850 NM - Quarter Mile : 12.4s / Minimum Kerb Weight / 2550 kg
Focus RS - 520 HP / 700 NM - Quarter mile : 12.5s / Minimum Kerb Weight / 1,524 kg
Focus RS - 350 HP / 470 NM - Quarter mile : 13.8s / Minimum Kerb Weight / 1,524 kg

1000 kg between the G63 and the RS.
Power wise : 65HP in favour of the Merc and 150 nm torque.
Combine this with a better power delivery to the ground, this was enough to offset the 1000 kg difference between the vehicles.
So bottom line, if you have 520 hp and want to play with the big boys which might cost twice as much at the very least you gotta deliver better performance.
This would mean stripping out half the car to reduce weight and add a faster gearbox.

If you go this route, why don't you buy a different car?
 

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@Martin y
I’m in a group of 10+ cars all running 500plus (now). As the Mountune cars 3 or 4 of them have been remapped by Sabre to achieve the power Mountune claimed but failed to achieve.
This clearly shows that the mountune hardware is up to the job just the mapping is not
 

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Did any of the 10 write about the parameters that was changed?
Could be interesting to see if Mountune has just been conservative or if they were stupid.
But if they were just conservative, they should also have been conservative about the name "M520" :)
 

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Justed looked at the video.
If they wanna find the reason, they are missing two important things.
1 Gearing.
2 Size of tyres.
 

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@Martin y
I’m in a group of 10+ cars all running 500plus (now). As the Mountune cars 3 or 4 of them have been remapped by Sabre to achieve the power Mountune claimed but failed to achieve.
This clearly shows that the mountune hardware is up to the job just the mapping is not
Adrian, I think what he is trying to suggest is, everytime the M520 is brought up, that you have to post the same thing again and again, which may lead to you being sued. You've made your point, move on ?
 

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To flip the coin
Why do people keep posting about the M520 they’ve said it numerous times so why is that repeated?
If they move on then I’d have no option but to move on 😂😂😂😂👍
 

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What I found a bit shocking was the monies for this kit. Yikes.

A totting-up of the parts attached to this particular car comes in at something around the £26,000 mark, including VAT but excluding fitting (bottom-end parts aside).

No official performance figures are quoted ln this article? Just the hp/tq figures?

One thing I didn't realize is that that windscreen fluid is on the other side of the car in the UK?

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To flip the coin
Why do people keep posting about the M520 they’ve said it numerous times so why is that repeated?
If they move on then I’d have no option but to move on 😂😂😂😂👍
Who really cares?
Does not affect you in the slightest....let it go. Its not coming out of your wallet.
If thats what floats their boat etc etc.
Have a few more hot ones and you'll be ok.
 
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