Classic Mini Cooper With Honda Engine Swap Sounds Sweet On The Dyno

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In 1979, the Austin Mini Cooper was available with various four-cylinder engines. We’re not sure exactly what the new purple Mini is Hoonigans video originally had under the hood. But we know it’s not as big or powerful as the Japanese four pots that currently power these iconic British machines.

Specifically, the engine is a 1.6-liter four-pot Honda D16. This is the single overhead cam version, and yes, it is VTEC. According to the video, the engine was sourced from Japan and was chosen based on size, as the D16 fits right into the Mini’s engine bay without extensive modifications to the car. Even so, the wheel made good use of the driver’s side wheel space for the alternator. Actually, that is passenger side, because this is a right-hand drive Mini.

You won’t find turbochargers, superchargers, or nitrous in this build. In fact, the engine is said to be completely stock efficient for the individual throttle body and management system of the Hondata s300. Power is sent to the ground via a manual transmission, driving 10-inch SSR wheels at the front. The interior features an AEM digital instrument cluster and some custom coatings. Otherwise, it’s a comfortable Mini with a healthy increase in power.

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That brings us to the heart of this clip, because it’s Hoonigan’s Dinos Everything series is all about guessing horsepower to wheels. If you haven’t watched the video yet, now might be the time to hedge your own bets on just how much punch this D16 packs. In factory stock trim, the SOHC VTEC was initially rated at around 129 hp at the crankshaft. Calculating the 15 percent loss of driveline through the manual gearbox, that equates to a wheel hp reading of about 110. But this engine isn’t fully stock.

That became clear after the first 116 hp dyno pulled net to the front wheels. Two more rounds come out at 117 hp, which makes about 138 hp at the crank using a 15 percent ratio. It may not sound impressive in the crazy world of 700 hp monsters that come straight from the factory, but it’s at least double the power of the Mini’s original engine. And boy does that sound heavenly at full boil.

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