This BMW M3 swapped MINI is the MINI you never thought you needed
It's called 'Vini', and it might just be the coolest MINI in existence.
When I think of MINI, generally, a brilliant four-cylinder front-wheel drive hatchback comes to mind. Well, that's where British suspension company Powerflex comes in to change things.
Meet Vini, a MINI that redefines the MINI. After four years in the making, the British firm has managed to cram a V8 into an R56 Mini Cooper, all whilst making it look like no more than a Mini with a bodykit.
Stuffed under the tiny hood sits BMW's iconic S65 4.0L N/A V8 engine from the E9x M3, making a whopping 309kW (414bhp) - and to make things fun, Powerflex has fitted Vini with a seven-speed M-DCT gearbox powering the rear wheels, again taken straight out of the M3.
If you think it's an easy task to swap a V8 into a MINI, you'd be mistaken. The entire bulkhead had to be modified to house the motor, and the subframe had to be taken from a Subaru WRX STi for the engine to sit on.
The suspension was worked on in-house, with the firm fitting Powerflex's own polyurethane bushings onto a custom MacPherson strut setup.
The exterior remains surprisingly factory, with nothing but flared arches, wide gold wheels and a spoiler. It remains a real sleeper.
Whereas the exterior looks like a standard R56 Mini Cooper, the interior has been substantially reworked, with additional chassis reinforcement to keep the Vini as nimble as possible. The additional weight of the engine and driveline is counteracted by the stripped out carbon lined interior panels, Cobra Motorsport four-point race seats, lightweight race steering wheel, with the rear seats removed in place for a solid sheet of metal - not too dissimilar from MINI's own hardcore GP models.
Tipping the scales at just 1300kg, the Vini's short wheelbase setup takes infinite cornering to the next level, with Toyo Proxes R888R semi-slick track tyres which the company stated in their own press release that "has the ability to stretch the confines of physics".
If a BMW M3 swapped MINI isn't the coolest thing you've seen today, I don't know what is.
The Vini will be debuting at the next Goodwood Festival of Speed. For more information, check out Vini's Facebook page.