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The Mega Mini


Remember the day when the Mini marque stood for exactly that… something mini? Well those days are well and truly over although the new cars are akin to overweight ballerinas that still score a perfect 10 for agility.

When the BMW Group took over ownership of the Mini marque, they injected plenty of new technology and innovation into the cars without ever diluting the fun and funky nature of the hatches. The price of that was literally a hefty one, the cars all grew considerably into anything but mini.

And then god forbid, the variations came like an avalanche of selling out. The Clubman and Countryman added more doors for more whores, or rather those looking for some additional practicality in their Minis; something of a paradox prior to this.

Nonetheless, the ultimate facepalm came when they announced the Mini 5-door, what was essentially a lowered and slightly smaller Countryman. As the collective palms smacked the faces, the marketability of it was undeniable.

The current crop of Minis retained their go-kart with roofs handling and retained their presence everywhere they went. The name, coupled with that iconic shape still had a soft spot in people’s hearts.

Furthermore, you could now get your hands on some ridiculously powerful engines in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW) maniacs that were the closest metaphor for a hyper puppies souped up on Red Bull.

That’s when Mini stole back our attention.

Car’s that small with just shy of 200hp? Absolutely sign us up please.

That’s how we ended up here with one of the few modified Cooper 5-door models discreetly hunting down some larger prey on our streets. From the factory, the Cooper S 5-door gets a turbo-four with 189hp.

There’s still a ton of potential from that engine as it churns out 230hp in JCW trim. So this Cooper was going to get a lot more rowdy with very little additions; the wonders of tuning modern engines.

Lift up the hood and see the headlights stay where they are; flanking the stock-looking engine bay. That’s not the truth however as the inhaling has been upgraded with a K&N drop-in filter and the exhaling by a SuperCircuit catless downpipe. In between, a Wagner Tuning Competition intercooler helps cool the charged air before it’s ignited.

Power now stands at levels that would cause Golf R owners to glance in their rearview mirrors. How much you ask? Try 283whp on for size.

In a car this size, you could overthrow regimes with that much power. It’s not all from the added hardware under the hood though. The majority of it is courtesy of the Project’A Stage 2 remap that makes full use of the engine’s potential.

Power still hits the front wheels via the six-speed automatic that is more than capable of dealing with the added guns.

The owner’s goal was simple. More power and… that’s about it. Every other facet of the car can handle the added punch and was retained to maintain comfort.

Suspension is all stock, save for the upgrade to H&R anti-roll bars front and rear. Even the brakes are still factory spec.

Those satin black wheels might have caught your attention though. Gone are the dowdy Mini wheels to be replaced by Inforged iGF 25 wheels in a reasonable 17-inch size.

Getting the extra ponies to the ground via just the front wheels can be a challenge so some sticky rubbers were necessary. Tried and tested, the Bridgestone Potenza RE003 was the only choice for the owner and fit the daily-driven theme perfectly.

Inside, the cabin is completely stock and is as comfortable as can be for a 283whp hatch on Malaysian roads. Outside, the Cooper S already looked the business and for a nostalgic touch, the owner added some classic fog lights on the front grille with the trademark Union Jack covers.

The new Mini might not resonate with fans of the original, frill-free icon but there’s no denying that the new Minis have managed to garner a cult following of their own with nimble handling and plenty of potential to be tuned.

Car – Mini Cooper S 5-door

Engine – K&N drop-in filter, SuperCircuit catless downpipe, Wagner Tuning Competition intercooler

Electronics – Project’A Stage 2 remap

Transmission – Stock

Chassis & Handling – H&R anti-roll bars

Brakes – Stock

Wheels & Tyres – Inforged 17-inch wheels, Bridgestone RE003 tyres

Interior – Stock

Exterior – Classic fog lights

Power – 283whp

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