November 27, 2022

SparkUnlimited

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

2 min read

Ordinarily, an R50 MINI–the initial-generation of BMW-owned MINI hatchbacks–never produced a great deal of energy. Even its sportier spec, the MINI Cooper S, made less than 200 horsepower from 1.6-liter supercharged 4-pot. That clearly wasn’t plenty of for warm-rodder Duane Smith, who decided to rip that tiny engine out, in favor of a little-block Chevy V8.

Instead of 1.6-liters, the recently enhanced MINI Cooper S displaces 355 cubic-inches and is paired with a Tremec 5 five-pace manual transmission. Oh, and they power the rear wheels as an alternative of the fronts.

To make it all in shape and handle appropriately, Smith took the front and rear subframes, as nicely as both of those suspension setups, from an E36 3 Sequence. Not only do they suit properly, necessitating incredibly minimal modification, they make the very little MINI tackle actually perfectly, much too.

R50 MINI Cooper 2 of 4 830x528

Other modifications have been important to get it all to match and do the job properly, which include mods to the pedal box, HVAC, and program. The latter was the trickiest little bit of the create, acquiring the GM electronics in the compact-block V8 to function with the MINI electronics. However, some matters just ironically match quickly, this sort of as the GM electrical power steering pump fitting perfectly to the BMW’s rack and pinion steering setup.

The relaxation of the vehicle appears pretty much bone inventory. From the outdoors, with the engine off, you’d in no way know it was nearly anything other than a normal MINI. After it begins up, however, the modest-block Chevy-powered MINI Cooper S is a good monster. It seems each and every little bit like an outdated-faculty Chevy V8, as well, which would make the customized MINI seem so significantly superior than inventory. When any person hears the compact-block-MINI travel by, they are instantly intrigued but what it may be.

Smith can take his motor vehicle to auto demonstrates, enters it in contests, and brings it to local gatherings, to show off his creation. And we can see why, it is great.

[Source: Motor Trend]

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