Recommendations for Getting the Best Performance Upgrades For Your 2002+ MINIDo you wonder "how can I improve my MINI Cooper's performance?" "Give my MINI some extra horsepower?" Our experts have hand-picked these 9 upgrades for your BMW/MINI.
1) Engine Upgrades
For more horsepower for stronger acceleration - go with Engine and Cold Air Intake Upgrades. Upgrading the restrictive stock airbox is one way to get more air into the engine and is one of the more popular MINI Cooper Performance Upgrades. More O2 into the combustion chamber means more powerful combustion and thus more power at the wheels! (See MINI Cooper Intake upgrades.)
2) Exhaust Upgrades
CAT Back and Downpipe Exhaust Upgrades always help with increasing performance. Once you improve the flow into the engine, you should upgrade the exhaust to allow better flow out of the engine. Turbochargers perform better with less back pressure, especially when you upgrade to a larger turbo. (See Mini Cooper Cat Back Exhaust Application Guide.) The upgraded downpipe improves flow by three features, larger diameter piping, larger inlet and outlet at the cat, and higher flowing catalyst inside the cat. The net result is less back pressure which allows the turbo to spool up faster minimizing the lag. (See Milltek Downpipe or NM Engineering Downpipe.)
3) ECU Upgrades
The easiest to do and the least inexpensive are ECU Upgrades. The ECU software upgrade skews the software towards performance by manipulating parameters such as ignition timing, fuel mixture, boost pressure, just to name a few. ECU upgrades become more critical as you add more 'serious' engine upgrades such as Turbos or internal upgrades, but are also effective on a stock MINI.
- ECU Upgrades for MINI Cooper S R52 and R53 models (2002 - 2006)
- ECU Upgrades for MINI Cooper S and Non-S R55, R56, R57, R58, R59, R60 and R61 models (2007-2016)
- ECU Upgrades for MINI Cooper S and Non-S F54, F55, F56, F57 and F60 models (2014 - current)
4) Turbocharger Upgrades
One of the most popular and result-driven performance upgrades you can make is Upgrading your Turbocharger. The turbocharger is a type of forced induction using exhaust gasses to spin a turbine which forces more air into the engine (boost). This means more O2 for a stronger combustion and more horsepower! The upgraded K03 units maintain boost much longer than stock units (the boost with stock units fall off as you approach higher rpms). The higher horsepower units use larger K04 turbos which run higher boost and produce more power, but also comes with slightly more throttle lag. (See MINI Cooper Turbo Application Guide.)
5) Intercooler Upgrades
Intercooler and Outlet Pipe Upgrades - go hand in hand with a high performance Turbocharger and maximizing power. The Intercooler is used to cool the intake charge after it has been compressed by the turbo. The MINI intercooler is an air-to-air intercooler which uses airflow to cool the intake air temperature, much like the radiator which uses air to reduce the coolant temperature. As you increase boost, the intake air temperature increases exponentially which greatly increases the combustion temperatures. (See MINI Cooper Intercooler upgrades.) In order to improve flow into the engine, there are various 'plumbing' or pipes that can be upgraded. These aftermarket pipes use larger diameter and / or less restrictive piping in order to smooth the airflow and flow more air. (See the Turbo Outlet Pipe and the Turbo charge Pipe.)
6) Piston & Camshaft Upgrades
For boost & maximum HorsePower you can't miss with Piston And Camshaft Upgrades. Internal engine upgrades are usually performed after most other engine upgrades are completed and may be prudent if you increase the horsepower beyond 250whp. Due to the complexity of the newer MINI Cooper engines, internal upgrades may be limited but there are some options. Products such as stronger Forged Pistons or Camshaft upgrades are currently available.
7) Drivetrain Upgrades
Getting more horsepower to the road always starts with Drivetrain, Transmission and Clutch Upgrades. Drivetrain upgrades improves the components that takes the power from the engine and applies it to the wheels. The Clutch and Flywheel connects the engine output to the transmission and the differential transmits the power from the transmission to the axles. Upgrades to the clutch becomes necessary as you increase the power output of the engine and more so if the MINI is driven in a spirited manner or on the track. Otherwise the clutch will have a limited life. (See MINI Cooper Clutch Kit Application Guide.)
8) Suspension Upgrades
Suspension Upgrades are a sure-fire way to get better handling for lower lap times. Suspension upgrades are designed to improve handling with less emphasis on ride quality and more emphasis on lower lap times. As with any upgrades, we recommend you upgrade one item at a time in order to understand how each upgrade affects the handling. (See Mini Cooper Shocks & Struts Application Guide.) Lowering springs are designed to lower the car's center of gravity for improved handling. The Rear Control Arms on the MINI Cooper help maintain optimal suspension geometry as the suspension reacts to the varying road surfaces. (See Mini Cooper Adjustable Rear Control Arms Application Guide.) The camber is a measure of how close to vertical the wheel sits from the ground. (See Mini Cooper Camber Plates.)
9) Brakes Upgrades
And increase performance always ends with stopping. So don't forget to Upgrade Your Brakes. For the average street driver, brake upgrades can mean better durability (more miles) and / or less brake dust. For the street performance driver, brake upgrades can mean shorter stopping distances. For the track driver, brake upgrades can mean reduced brake fade and improved brake feel in addition to shorter stopping distances. Brake pads are available in different levels of upgrades depending on the type of friction material or combination of friction materials. They typically include one or some of the following materials: organic, semi-metallic, or ceramic. (See Mini Cooper EBC Brake Pad Application Guide.) MINI recommends that you replace brake rotors any time you replace brake pads. Front rotors are always vented and the rear rotors are solid. There are rotor upgrades available that are slotted, drilled, or slotted and drilled. (See Mini Cooper Brake Rotor Upgrade Application Guide.) The Front Big Brake Kits are the ultimate brake upgrades for performance (and for looks if your budget allows). These are oversized brake kits that offers greatly improved braking performance in all areas including stopping distance, improved brake feel and just about no brake fade. (See Mini Cooper Big Brake Kits Application Guide.)
10) *Bonus* Eliminate Throttle Lag
And as a special bonus, our favorite upgrade, Sprint Booster. (While not technically a performance part, it sure feels like it when your out cruising the town!)
To see more details about the best performance parts, read the full article here.
Want to Boost Your MINI's Horsepower?Here's 4 upgrades that will increase your MINI Coopers speed.
|1) Air Filter Upgrade|
Upgrading your MINI Cooper's air filter is one of the easiest and most economical ways to give your MINI a horsepower boost. Our bestselling air filter upgrades are made by K&N and are designed to increase horsepower and acceleration. They are washable, reusable and carry a Million Mile Warranty through K&N. Our specialists believe they make The World's Best Air Filters and stand behind that claim 100%.
View All K&N Performance Air Filter Upgrades
|2) Performance Tuner|
Power modules and performance tuners are the simplest and best alternatives to an ECU Upgrade. One reason being that you don't have to remove your ECU and send it to be upgraded. Tuning devices all have one thing in common, they send a modified signal to the factory ECU, telling it the boost pressure is below target values. They are relatively easy to install with seriously noticeable and impressive gains. Typically less expensive than an ECU Upgrade.
View All Performance Tuners
|3) Supercharger Pulley Upgrade|
A 15% reduction in the supercharger pulley diameter of the MINI Cooper S increases the boost of your MINI Cooper S by more than 4 pounds, resulting in a dyno-measured gain of over 20 horsepower AT THE WHEELS. Maximum boost is achieved at lower RPM, giving more power in the mid-range of your MINI Cooper S. At 15%, the supercharger pulley provides the most boost increase available without over-revving the supercharger at high engine RPMs.
View All Supercharger Pulley Upgrades
|4) Stage Kit|
Stage kits will save you time and effort. We have taken the guesswork out upgrade options available for your MINI. Each higher stage level will have slightly more components in the kit and will produce an increase in performance. Stage level definitions apply to engine, drivetrain, suspension and brake upgrades. As with any performance improvements, initial gains are relatively cost effective and noticeable.
View All Stage Kits
|5) Intake Upgrade|
Intake upgrades are all about improving the flow of filtered air into the engine. More air means stronger and more efficient combustion and the result is more power! Upgrades are typically more noticeable in the upper rpm range where the stock restrictive intake causes power to fall off. In our experience, a 2-4 hp gain is typical with filter upgrades, and 4-6 hp gains with intake upgrades. Another side benefit is the increase volume of 'intake sounds'.
View All Intake Upgrades
|6) Performance Exhaust|
Exhaust system performance upgrades offer better flow with reduced back pressure for improved performance. These systems typically offer a lower deeper tone with a slight increase in sound volume. Some of these systems install at the front flange, the others are spliced in after the secondary catalytic converter or resonator. We offer top brands from leading performance suppliers Quicksilver, Borla, Remus, NM Engineering and Dinan.
View All Performance Exhausts
|7) ECU Upgrade|
Gain exceptional horsepower and torque by upgrading the software of your MINI's ECU. Stock software from the factory is developed with a delicate balance between fuel economy, durability and performance. An ECU software upgrade skews the software towards performance by manipulating parameters such as ignition timing, fuel mixture and boost pressure,just to name a few.
View All ECU Upgrades
|8) Intercooler Upgrade|
Have you noticed your MINI's engine seems more powerful & responsive in cold weather? As the inlet temperature is reduced, the air packs a greater number of O2 molecules, resulting in more powerful combustion. This nets more power to the wheels. You can have similar performance on warm days with an Intercooler upgrade. The Intercooler is used to cool the intake charge after it has been compressed by the turbo.
View All Intercooler Upgrades
|9) Turbo/ Supercharger Upgrade|
Although the factory turbo does a splendid job of forced induction, there IS room for improvement. Turbo upgrades are built with a larger compressor, upgraded internals and a 360deg thrust bearing to handle high boost pressures. Our Supercharger upgrades provide excellent performance, high efficiency and reliability, to deliver INSTANT BOOST from low RPM. With no other changes, hp increase was measured at 197 hp from the stock 169hp
View All Turbo and Supercharger Upgrades
|10) Sprint Booster V3 Power Converter|
A simple, Plug-N-Play unit, Sprint Booster V3 that changes the way your pedal interacts with your car's acceleration mode; specifically your ECM (Electronic Control Module). The Sprint Booster overrides the signal to your electronic throttle and replaces it with crisp, on-tap acceleration whenever you need it. So, when you press on your accelerator you'll immediately know it, rather than wait for the normal "pedal lag". No more delayed response. No more sluggish acceleration...instead, you get the immediate feeling of POWER!
View Sprint Boosters For ALL Cars
For more ways to boost your horsepower, read the full article here.
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MINI MANIA has a full range of MINI Cooper performance parts such as engine, transmission, and powertrain parts for your new Mini Coopers whether it's a Cooper S, a non-S or JCW. You can find the OEM and aftermarket, upgrade and replacement performance, engine and powertrain parts you need from air intakes to exhaust systems, turbos and superchargers, transmission parts and cooling systems. Plus, we have tons of articles, videos, installation instructions, etc. in our Powertrain and Performance Articles section.
Mini Cooper Performance Parts Powertrain, Engine, Transmission, Exhaust, Brakes, Suspension Categories include"
So, whatever you need for your Mini Cooper’s powertrain, chances are we’ve got it a price you can afford.
And don’t miss out on our Powertrain Installation articles and General Articles and Videos.
Need help? Call us at 800-946-2642 or contact us through our live help button at the top of the page.
Our Performance and Powertrain parts for your MINI Cooper fits the following MINI Cooper Non-S, Cooper-S and JCW models:
GEN 1 models
Hatchback (R50) 2002-2006 (non-S)
Convertible (R52) 2005-2008
Hatchback (R53) 2002-2006 (Cooper S)
GEN 2 models
Clubman (R55) 2008-2014
Hatchback (R56) 2007-2013
Convertible (R57) 2009-2015
Coupe (R58) 2012-2015
Roadster (R59) 2012-2015
Countryman (R60) 2011-2016
Paceman (R61) 2013-2016
GEN 3 models
Clubman (F54) 2016 - 2017+
Hardtop 4-Door (F55) 2015-2017+
Hardtop (F56) 2014 - 2017+
Convertible (F57) 2016-2017+
Countryman (F60) 2017+