Engine swaps are a common thing among car enthusiasts, especially those who want more from their car. The most common is the LS swap, while there are crazier ones like the V8-powered Porsche Cayman Mustang Coyote and the twin-turbo diesel Chevy Camaro. Of course, who would forget the Hellcat-powered Miata that produces 685 horsepower (511 kilowatts) at the wheels? It’s mental.
However, there is one fairly common but often overlooked engine swap: the classic Honda VTEC-powered Mini. In fact, a quick Google search for “Honda Mini Cooper” should lead you to a slew of versions, like this one – a VTEC-powered turbocharged Mini from the UK.
Now, like I said, we’ve seen others like this before. We’ve seen a classic Mini powered by a 1.6-liter Honda VTEC B16 engine with GT3076R turbocharging, but it seems absurd because of the exposed engine bay. We also presented a tuner in California that allows the engine of an Accord V6 to be replaced with a classic Mini.
This one from the UK (see embedded video above) is no exception, but the mechanics are different. It uses a 1.8-liter B18C4 engine from a Honda Civic VTi which produced 169 horsepower in its past life. The owner, Dan, who you can follow on Instagram via his handle @vtecturbominiguy, has turbo the engine with a Precision 5431 turbo kit for a final power of 369 hp (275 kW) sent to the front wheels.
He also gave his Mini a K-Tuned Shifter X with a boost button. Now what does this button do? Well, that just flips the boost control cards up and down, and vice versa. To show its difference, you will see a 0 to 60 miles per hour test performed by Officially gassed.
On low boost, the VTEC-powered mini did more than six seconds. Switching to a high boost allowed the Pocket Rocket to reduce that to 5.38 seconds. Not bad for a small car. Not bad at all.