This modern Mini has had a V8 heart transplant

By topgear, 16 July 2021

You’d think plugging a comparatively giant 4.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 into a tiny R56 Mini Cooper S would be a tricky project, wouldn’t you?

Well, you’d be absolutely correct, because the absurdly brilliant creation above took British automotive bush specialists Powerflex no less than four years to pull off. Great commitment folks.

Powerflex has christened the finished product ‘Vini’ and all you need to know is that it’s a road-legal modern-day Mini with the 414bhp S65 V8 engine from the E90 BMW M3 powering the rear wheels through the BMW’s original seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Crikey.

Okay, okay, that definitely isn’t all you need to know… Said V8 is mounted longitudinally, and as you’d imagine pretty much everything had to be reworked to get it in there. From the outside there are glimpses – the bonnet scoop has grown and the arches are slightly wider than normal – but underneath is where the major work happened. The entire floorpan and bulkhead was reworked, a bespoke eight-point roll cage was built in and custom MacPherson struts were constructed. The engine, gearbox and rear diff were then all mounted on Subaru Impreza WRX STI subframes.

The wheels are Braid Forged R motorsport alloys and underneath them are Alcon brakes. The dampers are three-way adjustable units courtesy of Bilstein and the fuel tank is a 90-litre ATL F1-spec cell. 

Apparently final weight is around 1,300kg, and Powerflex boss David Power (great name) fully intends to use the Vini as a proper track toy – hence the stripped out touring car style interior. 

Proper job this, isn’t it. Thoughts, Internet?  

Images: Dan Sherwood