Vini – the Powerflex V8 Mini

Vini – the Powerflex V8 Mini

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96eight

Original Poster:

135 posts

215 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Hopefully this is of some interest.

It is not the usual story of an engine swap.

Vini, the V8 Mini.



My company is Powerflex and we get to test and drive a variety of cars.

I’ve restored my Citroen SM, own a Citroen DS and an Alfa SZ. I love all three mainly for their engineering bravery (stupidity?) Some of the older readers might even remember where I started which was Power Engineering.

The background to this is that I have had a 968 Clubsport trackcar forever. I’ve done a fair bit of racing and was starting to feel that as lovely as the 968 is, I wanted something, well, a bit more scary.

More of a challenge to my limited track skills.

The first time I drove a Mini was in The Birkett at Silverstone and loved it. What a great package.

That got me thinking. Let’s build a fast Mini.

We sponsor the Mini Challenge so spoke to Antony (runs the championship) about the race cars and how far they could be tuned and improved without the burden of regulations. The advice was that 300bhp was feasible but not sensible for lots of track driving.

Later that year I was at The ‘ring and thinking of some of the world’s great engines. The S54 BMW M3 has always been regarded highly. But I didn’t want an M3.

The Mini I raced had been built by www.edmotorsport.co.uk who is a distributor for Powerflex. I’d also bought and raced a BMW Compact that they had built and was super impressed with the build quality and attention to detail.

EDM were building and racing a number of Minis at the time for different series so I thought now was the time to approach them for further discussions.
I’d assumed that asking for their thoughts on fitting an S54 engine into a Mini would be a very short conversation. The phone line would go dead, that would be that and I would simply forget it and buy a fast Porsche.

However I had not banked on their enthusiasm for mad projects and Eliot’s ability in all things engineering. I got the impression he wanted something more challenging in business than building saloon race cars.

Straight away he thought it was an excellent idea. We didn’t think too many steps ahead and didn’t try to analyse all of the potential pitfalls of something so radical.

They happened to have an S54 engine in stock so now we needed a car.






Step one was to strip the front down so that we could look at a bare engine bay and see the structure of the car.


With this done, the engine was craned into place and it didn’t look unrealistic. It was long though.



About this time, I was talking with Iain Litchfield and mentioned the project.

He said “why are you messing about with an iron block six banger when you could have an all alloy V8 which is smaller, lighter and makes 100bhp more? I have an engine you can borrow. See if that will fit?”

And so, you can see in only a few short weeks, mission creep has set in big time.

This was at the start of 2017.

It was always going to be a long project for reasons that will become obvious if you will permit me to tell the story.

Rather than sharing this from the start at the time, I thought it would be better to write about it as the car is nearing completion.

You will then see the immense detail that has gone in to building something really very special.


Edited by 96eight on Tuesday 3rd March 11:01

scottos

1,000 posts

105 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Excellent, i'm sure I've seen a few pictures of this floating about online. I bet it will be incredible fun.

I look forward to the retrospective updates!

GreatGranny

8,540 posts

207 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Bookmarked

Mark Benson

6,853 posts

250 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
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Love the fact that mission creep started so early biggrin

Is Elliot the same guy doing the beautiful work on the 3 Series Compact, documented on here? If so, you look to be in very capable hands.

Jack Mansfield

3,252 posts

71 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Looking forward to this! biggrin

Diddums84

15 posts

76 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Mental, absolutely mental. I love it biggrin

Cads

193 posts

53 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
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I'm all over this!!


RazerSauber

1,631 posts

41 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
1. I've never heard of a 968 Clubsport but would you believe I saw one on my way home last night on the M56? Small world!
2. The picture of the trailer opening gave me an optical illusion of the trailer door opening wider than it did.
3. This is awesome! Looking forward to many more updates!

How do you plan on making this RWD? Aren't all R56 Hatches FWD? This would be an absolute riot to drive!

Butter Face

27,551 posts

141 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Amazing. Proper excited for this.

james_TW

16,116 posts

178 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Amazing - But I need to hear about your Citroens and the Alfa...

96eight

Original Poster:

135 posts

215 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Vini is certainly RWD

Although this one isn't


Sport220

183 posts

56 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Fantastic!

Megaflow

8,244 posts

206 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
I like this man's thinking...

yes

gooner1

10,223 posts

160 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
96eight said:
Vini is certainly RWD

Although this one isn't

C'est manifigue.

96eight

Original Poster:

135 posts

215 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Have patience Sir!

Dave Hedgehog

14,047 posts

185 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
This is going to be fun smile

Rushjob

1,417 posts

239 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Hmmmm, Mini's and V8's mixed together.

What's not to like!!!

littlebasher

3,505 posts

152 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
I need more

Dr G

14,558 posts

223 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Super-bookmarked - please share away!

croissant

1,262 posts

119 months

Tuesday 3rd March 2020
quotequote all
Brilliant! Can't wait for more updates