Minis! They’re fun cars, but please miss me with that British kitsch—they’re BMWs now and we all know it. So, why not stuff a BMW V8 in the front?
That’s what the mad geniuses at EDM Racing are doing with “Vini the Powerflex V8 Mini,” according to a write-up on DriveTribe. The R56-generation Mini isn’t just getting the 415-horsepower BMW S6540 V8 from an E92 M3—it’s also getting converted to rear-wheel-drive. The M3's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is also getting stuffed into the little wondercar to direct the appropriate amount of power to the rear wheels with the flap of a paddle.
The car was the brainchild of bushing-maker Powerflex’s David Power, who wanted something more insane than his Porsche 968 to tinker around with. EDM Racing specializes in Minis, so they knew the limits of the front-wheel-drive cars. That’s when Power suggested something far crazier, EDM Racing’s Eliot Dunmore told DriveTribe:
David tended to agree and floated the idea of something a little more ambitious, a rear-wheel drive converted Mini with a different engine. David asked me whether we could build it for him, I said that we could, and within months he’d dropped us off an R53 body-shell to work on.
A custom frame and cage had to be built for the Mini in order to handle that big bump in power as well as the eventual track hoonage it will see. Subaru Impreza subframes were used to fit the space, and because they fit up horizontally with the Mini’s steering rack.
While various other engine and transmission options were considered for the car, a drive in an E92 convinced Power that an E92 V8 was the way to go. It fits hilariously, surprisingly well in the front of Vini’s engine bay.
Power hilariously wants to keep the V8 Mini looking relatively stock, which should make for some laughs when it rips a big ol’ burnout from the rear wheels.
They still have a bit of work to do, including figuring out how to get the E92's transmission to communicate with the rest of the car, which may be their toughest task. The transmission tunnel already had to be carved out to handle the large Getrag unit, which was part of the reason they opted to install a roll cage first. A custom prop-shaft, differential and carbon fiber dashboard are among some of the next items to get installed.