October 3, 2023


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


Ordinarily, an R50 MINI–the very first-technology of BMW-owned MINI hatchbacks–never manufactured a large amount of ability. Even its sportier spec, the MINI Cooper S, produced a lot less than 200 horsepower from 1.6-liter supercharged 4-pot. That obviously wasn’t adequate for incredibly hot-rodder Duane Smith, who made a decision to rip that small motor out, in favor of a compact-block Chevy V8.

As a substitute of 1.6-liters, the recently enhanced MINI Cooper S displaces 355 cubic-inches and is paired with a Tremec 5 5-speed manual transmission. Oh, and they electricity the rear wheels as a substitute of the fronts.

To make it all in shape and cope with appropriately, Smith took the entrance and rear subframes, as effectively as both of those suspension setups, from an E36 3 Sequence. Not only do they in good shape nicely, demanding incredibly small modification, they make the minimal MINI tackle seriously very well, way too.

R50 MINI Cooper 2 of 4 830x528

Other modifications have been important to get it all to match and perform properly, which include mods to the pedal box, HVAC, and program. The latter was the trickiest little bit of the develop, obtaining the GM electronics in the compact-block V8 to get the job done with the MINI electronics. Though, some items just ironically match simply, such as the GM power steering pump fitting perfectly to the BMW’s rack and pinion steering setup.

The relaxation of the car or truck seems to be fairly a great deal bone stock. From the outdoors, with the motor off, you’d under no circumstances know it was something other than a standard MINI. Once it starts off up, nevertheless, the small-block Chevy-run MINI Cooper S is a suitable monster. It seems every bit like an old-college Chevy V8, as well, which makes the personalized MINI seem so a lot superior than stock. When anyone hears the tiny-block-MINI push by, they are straight away intrigued but what it may be.

Smith takes his vehicle to car shows, enters it in contests, and brings it to local gatherings, to show off his generation. And we can see why, it is awesome.

[Source: Motor Trend]


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