In Fall 2011 I picked up a 2003 Mini Cooper S (R53) from my friend Andy. He was the original owner and had a short commute, so despite being 8 years old, it only had 86k miles on it.
This particular mini was used in a lot of early performance product development, and has had a lot of different aftermarket parts on it at various points in its life, as well as measurement points to do testing of all of those parts, including airbox temperature, pre- and post-intercooler air temps, additional map sensors, wideband O2 sensor, etc. It’s probably had 5 different intakes, different intercoolers, 4 different exhausts, and a host of other parts.
The car started life as:
2003 Mini Cooper S
- Premium Package: Auto climate control, dual-pano sunroof, leather steering wheel with multifunction and cruise, on-board computer
- Sport Package: Dynamic stability control (DSC), 17″ S-Lite wheels, foglights, Xenon headlights with washers
- Cold Weather Package: Heated seats, heated mirros, heated washer nozzles
- Interior: Panther black leather, magnesium interior trim, park distance control, navigation system.
- Helix 19% supercharger pulley (also have a 15%)
- Helix 380cc injectors
- Helix short-shifter
- Remus cat-back exhaust
- RDR 19mm rear swaybar
- Omori mechanical boost gauge
- Summit racing digital oil pressure / water temp gauges
- Whalen shift machine
144.1 whp @ 6250 rpm
129.8 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Modded: 15% pulley, Alta Intake, Magnaflow cat-back
173.1 whp @ 6750 rpm (+ 29.0 whp over stock)
158.5 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm (+ 28.7 lb-ft over stock)
Current: To be determined, but estimated 183 whp
Repairs and Maintenance
Items I’ve replaced / added since I got the car in October 2011:
- CravenSpeed strut-tower defenders
- Coolant expansion tank
- Thermostat / thermostat housing
- Radiator hoses
- O2 sensor
- Serpentine belt tensioner
The mini isn’t complicated mechanically, but packaging-wise it’s hard to work on. Things that should be simple aren’t, because of how tightly everything is packed.