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Britain's Ace | Brandon's Mini

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It's no secret that I am a big fan of hatchbacks, wagons and anything living that long roof lifestyle. When we think of hatchbacks; Volkswagen in Germany has the Golf, Honda has the Fit and also the iconic Eg/Ek hatchbacks, and America has Ford with the Focus. There are many hatchbacks across the globe but the most distinguished example comes from the UK and what many consider to be Britain's Ace, the Mini Cooper. Let's take a closer look at my friend Brandon's Mini.

Brandon has had his Mini for almost two years now and like most of us, he planned on keeping it stock and a nice daily driver. Well on the second day of owning the Mini, Brandon attended our Parking Garage Party. Needless to say he caught the tuning bug.

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Faced with the challenge of having a fairly newer chassis, the search for parts wasn't easy. The problem being that not many people were modifying the Mk3 Mini in the US. Nonetheless Brandon took on the challenge and would give the Mk3 Mini a chance.

The first mods were made to breathing department. A K&N typhoon intake handles the air flow going in and a muffler delete woke up the exhaust note. It took Brandon five revisions to the exhaust to finally get it to sound just the way he likes. The final versions consist of Miltek 3in downpipes mated to a John Cooper Works valvetronic catback system.

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The valvetronic exhaust system complements the pops and backfires that come with the RPM stage II tune. It's very unexpecting coming from a Mini but the 2.0 liter BMW engine is nothing to sleep on. The german powerplant is making upwards of 280whp now and according to Brandon is a blast to drive.

Driving is something Brandon loves doing. Whether a quick cruise to a car meet or a long drive through some winding country back roads, the Forge 32-way adjustable coilovers are ready for any situation. A few powerflex bushings here and there to stiffen up the chassis have been installed. 

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The footwork on this Mini is a set of Konig Runlites. Brandon is running 16x7.5 et45 wheel size and has the wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact Sport tires. The added traction has only improved the already sharpe handling characteristics of the Mini and makes the twisties that much more fun.

The exterior has been kept clean and simple. Subtle modifications like a wiper delete can be easily overlooked. But the Sneed4Speed front splitter is right in your face and provides added downforce.

Like the exterior, the interior has been kept unmolested. A Sneed4Speed shift knob and some interior lighting finish of the British cabin. Like the mini being Britian's Ace, Brandon's Mk3 is an ace example of a Mini.

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