British automotive suspension mounting specialist Powerflex has chosen the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed as the perfect event to introduce motoring enthusiasts to its landmark skunkworks project: VINI the Powerflex V8 MINI. Four years in the making, VINI is a project that features a R56 MINI Cooper S and the popular S65 V8 engine from the BMW E92 M3.
Joining Powerflex in this endeavor were ED Motorsport, Litchfield Motors, Alcon, Tilton Engineering, Bilstein UK, Forge Motorsport, Goodridge, Aero Tec Laboratories (ATL), ITG, Cobra Seats, Lifeline, Racelogic, Syvecs, AiM Tech and Braid. And this project was not a walk in the park. Fitting a massive V8 engine under the hood of a front-wheel drive MINI takes some skills and ingenuity.
The complexity of engineering a longitudinal eight-cylinder powertrain into a chassis designed to accommodate a transverse four-cylinder set-up meant that the entire floor pan and bulkhead had to be strengthened and reworked. As a result, the engine and rear differential now sit on modified Subaru Impreza STi subframes – all mounted and mediated by Powerflex polyurethane bushes, of course – while the hubs are suspended from bespoke MacPherson struts secured within custom towers.
The initial project requirements asked for the bodystyle to remain as close as possible to the standard MINI. With 414bhp on offer within a short wheelbase body that tips the scales at little more than 1,300kg, VINI has the ability to stretch the confines of physics through its Toyo Proxes R888R track tires.
The 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place on 8-11 July and is a pilot event within the UK government’s Events Research Program.