Mini R53 Supercharged:
After tuning a VW GTI 5 for one of our loyal clients, his brother acquired a Mini Cooper S Supercharged – and enquired about an upgrade. Their challenge to me was a familiar one; “what could be done in terms of a power boost, without breaking the bank?” In other words, these boys wanted JCW performance without paying JCW prices! Since Evolution (and our software operation – STO-Tuning) were new to (BMW) Mini Cooper tuning, we made use of our network of peers and professionals to find out what can best be done, and what gains could be expected. Paramount then as usual was performance with absolutely no sacrifice in reliability.
After confirming what I’ve learnt via the internet and conferring with many local tuners and international specialists whom we have come into acquaintance with over our 12 years in business, a decision was made to go with the following setup:
1: A 17% reduction in supercharger pulley
2: Complete exhaust system from the restrictive manifolds to the rear “wing box” design
The new Supercharger pulley was installed alongside the complete exhaust system. As most of you would know that once the pulley is installed power is immediately evident due to its mechanical belt-driven nature. The most important part of this conversion was that I wanted to maintain its factory-built drivability. No hesitations, lags or jerkiness would be tolerated. The owner should leave feeling as though his newly tweaked “BABY” is even better than what it was when he bought it – and without having to pay an arm and a leg for the new found performance. The exhaust was proving to be a challenge, acting as bottle neck to the desired result. After testing different design systems which had to adhere to certain criteria of which noise levels as well as its effect on power was vital. These little cars can be fairly noisy if the right system is not built for it and it can make your “BABY” weep, and that’s not the sound our customers would appreciate. A three-box system was developed with special rear silencers to combat the high noise levels engineered using a standard grade of free-flow silencers. Ultimately we ended up with the following design: a 4 into 1 branch manifold with a 57mm system splitting into a dual 50mm outlet. Noise levels were sporty without being intrusive – suitably raspy without robbing the car of its new power. We like to think it’s just what the doctor ordered.
Our next step in the all-encompassing process was to fit a Forge intercooler. This will help bring down intake temperatures and is followed by a remap of the ECU via our international counterpart.
PLEASE NOTE: The entire conversion process takes 3 full days including time for dyno-testing. All parts are available on order and will take between 1-2 weeks to secure. A 50% deposit is required to acquire the items needed. All items other than the pulley are locally produced. As can be seen by the dyno sheets it was well worth the development.