One of the things we love about the MINI Cooper is how easy it is to make changes so you can align your car with your unique personality. From the variety of engine choices and power options to the huge array of aftermarket parts, there are plenty of options for giving your little car a big attitude. Here are a few of our favorite MINI mods and upgrades that you might want to consider.
Your MINI’s engine control unit (ECU) is designed to strike a balance between durability, performance, and fuel economy. One of the best ways to create an exceptional improvement in both your horsepower and torque is to upgrade your ECU to software that is geared more towards performance. These typically work by manipulating important parameters like fuel mixture, ignition timing, and boost pressure.
If you’re not keen on removing your ECU and sending it in for an upgrade, a performance tuner is your next best option. These work by sending a signal to your MINI’s factory ECU telling it that the boost pressure isn’t where it should be. As the system makes changes to get it back into the “target range,” you’ll experience a significant increase in power.
These are easy to install and are also typically less expensive than upgrading your ECU. The impressive and very noticeable gains you’ll experience make this upgrade well worth the effort.
Upgrading your exhaust will give you better flow and less back pressure. Both of these combine to improve your performance. You’ll usually also get a slight increase in volume and a lower, deeper tone.
While some performance exhaust systems are designed to be installed at the front flange, others need to be spliced in after the resonator or secondary catalytic converter.
Supercharger Pulley Upgrade
A pulley upgrade is another way to get a serious power boost. A supercharger pulley is smaller than the one that comes standard in your MINI Cooper. This increases your rpm, resulting in faster acceleration.
Reducing your supercharger pulley by 15% can give you a gain of over 20 hp at the wheels. You’ll notice a maximum boost at lower rpm, which will give you more mid-range power.
Upgraded Air Intake
An upgraded air intake improves the flow of filtered air into your MINI’s engine. This makes the combustion stronger and more efficient, creating more power. You’ll typically notice the impact of this when you’re in the upper rpm range because this is when the restriction caused by the stock intake causes a decrease in power.
Upgrading your intake can usually add four to six horsepower to your MINI’s performance. As an extra bonus, you’ll also enjoy louder “intake sounds.”
Wheels and Tires
Did you know that some of the MINI Cooper’s original 17-inch wheels can weigh as much as 25 pounds apiece? Switching to lightweight alloy wheels is another simple and easy way to improve performance. This works by reducing the vehicle’s unsprung weight.
The MINI’s stock tires are also notorious for being low on grip and creating an uncomfortably harsh ride. Upgraded tires will make your car more comfortable for both the driver and the passengers, but the benefits don’t stop there. You’ll also experience more power and better handling, particularly when it comes to cornering speed.
Your Local MINI Cooper Experts
Whether you’re looking for assistance with boosting your MINI Cooper’s performance or you just need some simple maintenance or repairs, the pros at The HAUS are here to help! We have two convenient locations and offer competitive pricing and top-notch service. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.