TAROX & AET test new Fiesta ST
With initial design and fitting taking place at head office in Italy – more on that to come on that process later – it was time to get the first prototype Sport Compact kit for the MK8 Fiesta ST fitted up at TAROX UK’s Ford specialist AET Motorsport. The Wakefield based company made a huge impact on the Ford scene with an attitude to tuning straight from their Motorsport and OEM background, becoming the bench mark in all things MK7 Fiesta. Both TAROX and AET knew the importance of the new MK8 Fiesta ST so no time was wasted and development began.
With substantial changes between old and new, most notably the loss of a cylinder and a healthy increase in power and torque – standard a very respectable 200ps and 290nm – our test car, having being just collected from ford ECU specialist PERON now boasted a very impressive 250ps and 390nm. This extra power allowed us to work on a car much closer to the power specification the majority of MK8 ST owners will be running.
With head office working on the bench testing and approval back in Italy the UK office had a good basis from which to start so the components of a Sport Compact kit were assembled and installation of a 300mm F2000 grooved one piece disc mated to a 6 piston B30 billet alloy caliper began.
Our aim is to always produce a kit that fits behind an OEM wheel were possible. Unfortunately with Sport Compact kits, the use of single piece discs it is not always possible, in this case the ST 17″ wheels need a 15mm spacer.
Kit fitment and wheel clearance dealt with it was time to build mileage, test pedal feel with different pad compounds, and ultimately find limitations by pushing the car hard on track.
Finding the balance between comfort and performance is always tricky. Not all customers want the same thing from a big brake kit. Ensuring a kit – especially a Sport Compact with single piece discs – walk this line perfectly is where most of the test time is taken. First, as you would expect, performance. The B30 was fitted with the latest Competizione pad, the .118 and bedded in using the Motorsport method of short yet aggressive stops. Once bedded in the power and feel from the system was potent giving a very firm pedal with lots of feel and huge amounts of performance pushing grip from tyres to their limit. The only noticeable down side to this set up was some noise from the pads when cold and at slow speed.
With some good mileage on the kit and everything bedded in it was time to head to the track . The guys at AET were already booked in at Blyton Park to shake down a pair of TAROX equipped ST MK7’s ready for the beginning of a new season in Time Attack. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to pit the MK8 against some very well sorted MK7 cars. A slippery damp circuit meant tyres would ultimately be the limitation of how hard the ST MK8 could be pushed but needless to say the brakes were driven hard lap after lap with no fade and little disc degradation.
Back at the UK office new F2000 discs and a Strada pad were fitted up to see how the Sport Compact kit would behave in pure road only conditions. Ideally the outcome is a firm pedal with no noise. After the competizione’s very firm pedal swapping out to the Strada can take a little adjustment time as the pedal is less direct and you can feel the lower comprehensibility value of the Strada pad compared with the Competizione but this feeling would be usual for most people driving on the road. The key factor was the noise or lack of it! Great result! Quiet and refined on the road, potent and aggressive on the track.