A classic Mini gets a large dose of VTEC Power
The Classic Mini originally came with a 34 bhp, 848 cc engine which was increased to 997, 998, 1071 and 1275 cc that boosted its power output up to 55 bhp in stock form. While it may not sound much as compared to today’s subcompacts that pack in more power, but if you factor in the Mini’s power to weight ratio, this will prove just how nimble it really is. Engine-wise, while those stock performance figures may sound just fine to the purist. But in the tuner world where anything is possible for the sake of increased performance, there’s only one solution to gain maximum performance from the lightweight Mini. This can only be achieved by shoehorning a modern, high revving engine onto the tight confines of the Mini as our featured Mini built by Autoplus and Motor Pro attests to. This build is no walk in the park as it makes use of a specialized subframe conversion kit in order to accommodate a B-Series Honda engine onto its platform that’s also enhanced with goodies such as: race-oriented dual-pot disc brakes, wider wheels, and adjustable suspension. These mods are a must in order to achieve every-day reliability with a strong emphasis in terms of all-around performance.
Once the conversion kit arrived, Autoplus sportzentrium was given the task of putting it together. Aside from the subframe kit, the swap also necessitated a one piece, fiberglass, tilt front end because the hood and the front fenders must be stretched forward four inches to accommodate the Honda engine and radiator. The longer front end is not noticeable until you’re told it’s there, so it doesn’t alter the original looks of the Mini. The exterior is made even more muscular with the wider wheel arches, where Motor Pro autoclinique was tasked to massage the body as they sprayed it with an impeccable dark metallic blue paint finish set against a contrasting white colored roof using DuPont automotive refinishes.
The specialized conversion kit may be responsible for the swap, but it’s what’s nestled in between the subframe that truly makes this hybrid Mini a screamer. A stock B18 Honda already puts out a decent amount of power, but when you employ the services of renowned race engine builder/engineer Francisco “Pacho” Blanco, to blueprint/build the engine. Better make sure that your brakes and suspension are up to the task. The stout Honda bottom end was rebuilt using the stock pistons, crank, and rods together with aftermarket bearings and fasteners. High Performance cylinder head work is one of Mr. Blanco’s specialties, and this one features his Stage 2 porting job that’s accomplished with the aid of Autoplus’ Superflow flowbench that accurately measures the amount of airflow in each chamber. Orchestrating the Type-R valvetrain is a pair of Spoon camshafts with a 2-degree advance on the intake side and a 1-degree advance on the exhaust side to achieve a more favorable powerband according to Mr. Blanco. The rev limit is set at 9800rpm, while the VTEC kicks in at 5200 rpm. Together with the stock ECU, this mill has been dyno tuned by Francisco Blanco to put out 190 wheel horsepower. As is the case with all tuners, we all know that there’s plenty more where that came from. Most especially when your engine builder recently happened to motivate an Evo5 with 813 wheel horsepower and 623 lb-ft of torque that enabled it to post an unbelievable quarter-mile time of 9.6 seconds. Chances are that this Mini will just keep on getting faster and faster as it truly epitomizes the ultimate pocket rocket.
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