Owning a Mini Cooper on its own is pretty great, but if you really want to make heads turn, you might consider adding some performance upgrades. Whether you want to increase horsepower or improve your street performance, there’s an upgrade that will give you exactly what you’re looking for.
Wondering which Mini Cooper performance upgrades are best for you? Here’s a look at some of the most popular.
1. Cold Air Intake
Upgrading your MINI’s stock airbox will allow more air to get into the engine. This creates a more powerful combustion which translates to more power to the wheels. This is particularly beneficial at higher RPMs, when the stock airbox becomes more restrictive.
A cold air intake also creates a low “growl” when you’re at full throttle and a pleasing whine from the turbo. This upgrade can typically add anywhere from 4 to 12 hp to your Mini Cooper.
2. Exhaust System Upgrades
If you decide to upgrade your intake, you should also upgrade the exhaust. This will allow air to flow back out of your engine. If you’re thinking about adding a turbocharger, it will also work better with less back pressure.
The most common exhaust system upgrade is a cat back exhaust, which replaces the stock exhaust system from the catalytic converter back, including the mufflers. When combined with intake upgrades, it can result in a significant increase in horsepower.
3. ECU Software Upgrade
A Mini Cooper’s electronic control unit (ECU) monitors sensors throughout your car. Based on the input it receives, it adjusts various engine parameters. When it comes from the factory, the ECU is designed to maintain a delicate balance between performance, durability, and fuel efficiency.
An ECU software upgrade skews the system to increase performance by adjusting parameters like the fuel mixture, ignition timing, boost pressure, and more. Upgrading your ECU will become more important as you add other upgrades, like turbos. However, they can also improve performance on stock Mini Coopers.
4. Turbo Upgrade
A turbocharger uses forced induction to force more air into the engine, which leads to stronger combustion and more horsepower. It should be noted that adding a turbocharger to your Mini Cooper creates additional heat which leads to higher intake air temperatures. You can offset this by installing an air-to-air intercooler downstream from your turbocharger.
5. Clutch Upgrades
The clutch connects your Mini Cooper’s transmission to its engine. Not only can upgrading your clutch increase durability, but it can also help your vehicle handle increased horsepower.
The stock clutch is designed to work at a specific horsepower with a bit of wiggle room on the high end. However, as you upgrade your engine and add more power, it can cause the clutch to slip. Eventually, it may burn out, making your MINI non-operational.
Upgraded clutches have more gripping power which offsets this potential issue. If you haven’t modified your MINI to increase horsepower, stick to a Stage 1 or Stage 2 upgrade, as anything more could cause unwanted problems. For best results, you’ll also want to consider an integrated clutch and flywheel package.
6. Suspension Upgrades
While the stock suspension on a Mini Cooper is already pretty good, upgrading components like your shocks, dampers, or struts can help your MINI handle better and transfer the engine power onto the road more efficiently.
Other possible suspension upgrades include adding a larger rear sway bar, switching out rubber suspension bushings for polyurethane bushings, and adding lowering springs.
7. Brake Upgrades
Upgrading your brakes can increase durability and give you shorter stopping distances. The basic upgrade involves selecting performance brake pads and rotors.
A big brake kit would take things further, improving performance through upgrades including larger calipers with more pistons, larger brake pads, and larger and thicker rotors that are full-floating rotors to help with heat dissipation.
The front brakes on a Mini Cooper do most of the work, so it’s not necessary to add a rear big brake kit. Instead, you can just upgrade your rear brake pads. This will help lower the overall cost of this performance upgrade.
Trust The Haus For All Your Mini Cooper Needs
Whether you’re ready to upgrade your Mini Cooper, you want to explore your options, or you just need some simple maintenance or repair, the experts at The Haus are here to help! Contact us today to schedule a VIP appointment with one of our Mini Cooper specialists.