AET Motorsport have been developing their Fiesta ST tuning package for a while now. To say that this car has come on leaps and bounds since we first set eyes upon it in the summer is very definitely a huge understatement!
AET Motorsport are no stranger to making cars go fast and tuning them to perfection. As you may recall from our piece in the August 2016 issue, they have spent many years in motorsport, perfecting their craft and building all manner of very quick race cars.
They can trace their heritage right back to 1958 and have worked on almost every flavour of racing in the intervening five
decades. They have also earned an enviable reputation for developing and manufacturing some impressive turbochargers for all
manner of vehicles. More recently they turned their attentions back to tuning and modifying Ford’s finest road-going cars.
The Fiesta you see here was unveiled at their first Club Open Day last summer and has spent the past few months being tweaked, fettled and honed into, what we think, is one of the best STs out there. Ford HQ were very proud of the fact that they could now offer Joe Public the Fiesta ST220 boasting an impressive 220bhp straight from the factory. Well, what if that’s not enough? AET can give you almost a whole 100bhp on top of that. Their ST package currently tops the dyno at 318bhp. And they haven’t stopped there.
The way they have achieved this is to bring on board a select few specialist companies and work closely with them to make sure every component works nicely together and also delivers the maximum amount of power and driveability into the bargain. Peron have developed their remap in conjunction with AET, specifically to work with the new V1+ turbo and intercooler, an ITG filter and Cobra Venom decat exhaust system. Underneath, the running gear and handling is boosted with the use of Summit braces and AST coilovers plus Team Dynamic wheels shod with Yokahama rubber, all relying on the stopping power of Tarox discs and six-pot calipers. Inside they haven’t forgotten that this is a road car and not a race car, with an Aim dash and Corbeau seats. So, what is it like to drive?
It has to be said that the Fiesta ST in standard form is no slouch, but in the same way that a rugby prop forward can make decent progress, you know that giving it to the winger is probably going to get things done a lot quicker. And so it is with the AET Voodoo Fiesta.
From the moment you turn the key you are made aware that there is nothing standard in this little pocket-rocket. The eagerness at which it propels you is a real smile-inducing experience.
Out on the road there is nothing by the way of lag from the turbo; all the power is available from the off and it just keeps on delivering it until your own inbuilt safety valve tells you to back off. I’ve driven a few tuned STs and quite often they are very quick but not so easy to drive. Getting the big numbers on a dyno is easy enough. Supplying them in a way that makes the drive comfortable for everyday use is not such an easy thing. Stiffening up the ride to give a bit more precision to the way the power is laid down can actually make it quite
uncomfortable and you can find yourself avoiding potholes the same way as the guys with low-slung splitters.
That is not the case with Voodoo. It is certainly stiffer than standard but not in a harsh way. The turbo delivers power gracefully and enthusiastically without you feeling like you’re being force-fed by it. There is only the barest hint of torque-steer and I never felt like it was getting away from me
I should add that I spent a while driving around nearby Wakefield town before heading out onto the faster A-roads, so I had a good idea of how it handled in both environments. In any gear the acceleration is positive, no hesitation and none of the dreaded choking that you sometimes get in some cars when trying too hard in a higher gear. The torque is there when you need it and it is nicely progressive as you drive rather than arriving all in one hit. Taking traffic islands on major A-roads is a pure delight in itself; the need to pre-judge
the approaching traffic way in advance is reduced as you can react far quicker and either brake or go knowing that either action
will be safe and progressive. Speaking of brakes, the Tarox units fitted here are both aesthetically pleasing and assuringly responsive and firm. I am used to Tarox discs and six-pot calipers from a previous life driving Land Rovers for a living. If they can adequately stop a
performance tuned, two-and-a-half-ton off-roader I am more than happy that they’ll cope with an ST weighing less than half of that.
Perhaps the last thing to judge is the noise. As much as some would protest that we don’t want noise for noise’s sake, we all like to announce our presence just a little bit. With the Voodoo ST you’ll be pleasantly accompanied by the usual baaaaarrrrp stustustustu without feeling like your assaulting anyone’s senses in town. Of course, if you want to blast it, you can get that too, and you won’t be
disappointed. Overall I can only heap praise on this ST. The only thing I’d change is the seats, but that’s more down to my wider-than-average arse than them being uncomfortable.