Mini Coopers are esteemed for their go-kart feel and driving dynamics that make them fun-to-drive. But what can make a Mini better? Well, how about a V8 under the bonnet and rear-wheel-drive configuration?
That's exactly what this Powerflex project is all about. The British automotive suspension mounting specialist introduces the Vini, the Powerflex V8 Mini. Making its debut at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed, this crazy project took four years to build and it's not hard to imagine why.
Gallery: Vini, The Powerflex V8 Mini Cooper
Powering the Vini is BMW's S65 4.0-litre V8 engine that makes 414 bhp (309 kilowatts), found in the F80 generation M3. As expected, installing a V-shaped engine longitudinally plus its DCT in a chassis designed for a transverse four-pot mill is no easy task.
To accommodate the new setup, the entire floor pan and bulkhead had to be strengthened and reworked. That said, the engine and rear differential now sit atop modified Subaru Impreza STI subframes – all mounted and mediated by Powerflex polyurethane bushes. The McPherson struts are bespoke, as well, secured within bespoke towers.
Even better, all these modifications were done without altering the Mini Cooper's exterior design, with the exception of wide fender flares and the alteration on the emblem that now reads Vini.
The cabin's a different story of course, which you should see with the images provided in the gallery above. The V8-powered short wheelbase hatchback tips the scales at 1,300 kilograms (2,866 pounds) after the engine swap.
The Vini is a collaborative effort between the members of UK's Performance Automotive Aftermarket Association, comprised of ED Motorsport, Litchfield Motors, Alcon, Tilton Engineering, Bilstein UK, Forge Motorsport, Goodridge, Aero Tec Laboratories (ATL), ITG, Cobra Seats, Lifeline, Racelogic, Syvecs, AiM Tech, and Braid.
As mentioned, Powerflex is showcasing the Vini at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed happening from 8-11 July 2021.