In 1964, Paddy Hopkirk and his crew of MINI fans kitted out a MINI Cooper Clubman and won the Monte Carlo Rally against nearly insurmountable odds. This little MINI went up against Mercedes, BMWs, and other incredible cars with bigger engines, but still won in the end because of both determination and some clever modifications.
The spirit of the rallying MINI carries on today, with SEs and Countrymans being popular rally cars. For "clever modifications," rally crews turn to MINI performance parts. Keep reading to find out more about the parts and upgrades popular among MINI fans, racers, and rally teams.
MINI Cooper Tune
As seen with the MINI Cooper S, a tune is a performance upgrade that can give your MINI more wheel torque (wtq) and wheel horsepower (whp). For the MINI Cooper S, the Burger Motorsports JB4 tuner can increase power by 40 wtq and whp.
A tuning kit isn't technically a performance part but it makes the list because the power gains you get come without making any more modifications. Tuning your MINI after putting other performance parts in will also boost power gains from those upgrades.
To get more out of your MINI's turbo, you need a downpipe upgrade. Replacing the turbo's stock downpipe with a higher flowing aftermarket part will allow more exhaust gasses into the system. This will trigger the compressor to start spinning sooner and better.
The two basic types of downpipes you could go for are catted and catless downpipes. Those without the catalytic converter (catless) boost power more but are not eco-friendly, smell terrible, and are illegal in some places. The catted variety is generally better because you still get a performance upgrade and are safe from the law.
Air Intake Upgrade
Going from the turbo's stock air intake (which tends to be a closed intake) to an open intake is another way to get more power out of your turbo. Since open air intakes can bring more air into the turbo, they provide more of a boost to the engine. This boost on its own is not substantial, but when this upgrade is made with the others on the list, it gives a considerable advantage.
You don't just want to avoid heat soak for safety reasons, as it also has performance implications. Insufficient cooling can cause your MINI to lose a lot of power on the track.
The MINI Cooper S uses an air-to-air intercooler, which means you have to upgrade the surface area of the intake and the core of the cooling system. Installing a Racing Dynamics intercooler can make your engine's cooling 50% more efficient.
Shop For the Best MINI Performance Parts Today
MINIs are great racing and rally cars of their class, especially when filled to the brim with performance upgrades. Tuning your MINI cooper and putting aftermarket MINI parts in leads to increased performance and power gains. However, boosting the engine generally makes it run hotter, so it's important to be mindful about upgrading the cooling system.
When shopping for MINI performance parts, you should only use official and credible sources. Urotuning is a licensed and trusted marketplace for MINI, BMW, Audi, VW, and Porsche parts. Check out our news to find out about performance upgrades and our current sales.