I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the most fun car I’ve ever driven was a 1965 Mini Cooper S. Its combination of lightweight simplicity, moderate power and pure communication made it such a joyful experience. One of the best parts about it, though, was its power, or lack thereof. Rather than having huge power figures, it only had about 100 hp, which felt perfectly appropriate. Never once was I wanting for power and I loved it. However, what if a classic Mini was give 500 hp?
In this new video from The Smoking Tire, Matt Farah and Zack Klapman drive a heavily modified classic Mini Cooper, aptly named “Super Cooper”. When I say heavily modified, I mean heavily modified.
A racing and tuning company based out of California, Gildred Racing, has created this Super Cooper and it’s brilliant insanity. For starters, it’s been converted from front-engine and front-wheel drive to rear-engine and rear-wheel drive. So it’s essentially an extremely small Porsche 911 hatchback. Except it really no longer has a hatchback. Oh, and it makes 500 hp.
The engine stuffed into the trunk of the classic Mini is a 3.5 liter Honda V6 that’s been supercharged to make 500 hp. Paired to that engine is a six-speed manual with a beautifully milled shift lever mount. Not only that but they’ve also given it air conditioning, an iPad-based infotainment system, Recaro seats and even power windows. Yet, all in, it still only weighs about 2,000 lbs.
So with 500 hp and just 2,000 lbs of curb weight, it has a power-to-weight ratio similar to a Bugatti Veyron. Which is insane, especially when you consider it has the wheelbase of a roller skate and is rear-wheel drive. The ensuing madness is an absolute joy to watch and what seems like an absolute joy to drive.
Farah can’t seem to contain his laughter, as he fires the little classic Mini “Super Cooper” off the line or makes incredible fifth-gear pulls. It seems like such a terrifyingly fun experience. I need one.