Small-Block Chevy-Powered R50 MINI Cooper is Brilliant Lunacy


Usually, an R50 MINI–the to start with-era of BMW-owned MINI hatchbacks–never built a lot of electric power. Even its sportier spec, the MINI Cooper S, created much less than 200 horsepower from 1.6-liter supercharged 4-pot. That clearly wasn’t ample for incredibly hot-rodder Duane Smith, who resolved to rip that minor motor out, in favor of a small-block Chevy V8.

Rather of 1.6-liters, the recently improved MINI Cooper S displaces 355 cubic-inches and is paired with a Tremec 5 five-pace handbook transmission. Oh, and they electricity the rear wheels as a substitute of the fronts.

To make it all suit and deal with effectively, Smith took the entrance and rear subframes, as effectively as both equally suspension setups, from an E36 3 Collection. Not only do they fit nicely, requiring pretty very little modification, they make the very little MINI tackle actually nicely, far too.

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Other modifications ended up necessary to get it all to suit and do the job effectively, such as mods to the pedal box, HVAC, and software. The latter was the trickiest little bit of the construct, finding the GM electronics in the little-block V8 to perform with the MINI electronics. Nevertheless, some things just ironically in good shape easily, these as the GM energy steering pump fitting flawlessly to the BMW’s rack and pinion steering set up.

The relaxation of the car or truck appears pretty a great deal bone stock. From the outside, with the motor off, you’d under no circumstances know it was anything at all other than a typical MINI. After it commences up, while, the compact-block Chevy-powered MINI Cooper S is a good monster. It seems every single little bit like an previous-faculty Chevy V8, also, which tends to make the custom MINI seem so a great deal better than stock. When any individual hears the compact-block-MINI push by, they’re promptly intrigued but what it could be.

Smith will take his car or truck to auto reveals, enters it in contests, and provides it to neighborhood gatherings, to display off his generation. And we can see why, it’s wonderful.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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