RWD V8 Mini ready for Festival of Speed

RWD V8 Mini ready for Festival of Speed

07/07/2021

'Vini' is already a star of Readers' Cars – now see the finished item at Goodwood

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, July 7, 2021 / Loading comments

What’s the best bit of PistonHeads? It’s the forums, of course. There’s nowhere else on the internet with such a wealth of knowledge, passion and expertise, all best shown off in Readers’ Cars. You won’t find such a staggering variety of barn finds, one-offs and project cars anywhere.

A particular recent highlight in RC has been the Mini of PHer ’96eight’ – or David Power in the real world. The plan for his R56 Mini was simple: it was going to get the old S54 straight six from the E46 M3. Only it didn’t quite end up that way – because project cars never do – and what David has built is a V8, rear-wheel-drive Mini the kind of which has never been seen before.

The car is at Goodwood because, officially, this is the Powerflex V8 Mini – David Power, Mr 96eight, being the company’s proprietor. And what else do you call your bushings company with that name? As well as being an outrageous idea, Vini exists to show off what members of the Performance Automotive Aftermarket Association can do. So as well as the finest polyurethane bushes in all the land – handy for a bespoke rear subframe modified from an Impreza – the Mini has had input from Racelogic, Litchfield, Forge Motorsport, Alcon, Goodridge, Bilstein UK, ITG, Cobra Seats and more. It’s the best of British in a project car – totally mad, but beautifully done.

On the advice of Iain Litchfield at the start of 2017, the old straight six was ditched for its replacement engine – the S65 4.0-litre M3. Lighter, smaller and more powerful, it was a better fit in every sense for David’s vision. Vini also uses the dual-clutch transmission from that era of M3 to get power to the rear Toyo R888R tyres. With 420hp powering little more than 1,300kg – or around a third of a tonne less than the BMW does – the Mini promises to be wildly fast. That said it isn’t intended to be a show car; the press bumf for Vini say it’s an “iron hand in a velvet glove: an utterly usable and road-legal piece of engineering art that is as comfortable on track as it is on the road.”

Now while we could detail how all those partners helped get Vini from four-cylinder hot hatch to V8 hellraiser, David would surely do a far better job. The Readers’ Cars thread is currently at 13 pages, featuring details you won’t find anywhere else. With Vini complete, track testing and final set up is about to commence. But it will be at Goodwood this weekend, so do be sure to take a look if you’re down at FoS. It’s not often a forum project car gets 15 minutes of fame, after all…

Here’s the thread.


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