SuperMINI Signature Banner

If you have been on any of the MINI forums, you undoubtedly have seen the awesome cartoon MINIs in people’s signatures.  What you may not realize is that most of those signatures were designed by a member of the MINI community “COOPERation” aka Planet Cooper on Facebook.  If you go through his Facebook page, you can spend HOURS just mesmerized by the talent he possesses.  This week, I received an awesome gift of a sampling of new signature banners depicting my new MINI, Clark (aka SuperMINI).  The one below is my favorite!


Huge thanks to Craig (aka COOPERation) for such an awesome work of art!!

2016 F56 with JCW Tuning Kit Dyno Results

If you haven’t seen the video of my trip to the dyno this past weekend, make sure you check it out!  Big thanks to Lee at Genesis Automotive in Oakland Park, Florida for running the dyno and helping us get the baseline data.
IMG_6184NM Engineering will be sending out an NM Power Module that we can play with at the next Dyno Day in October so I look forward to seeing how the baseline numbers compare.   But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves…  Here are the results from this baseline run this past weekend.
IMG_6232To review, Clark is a 2016 (F56) MINI Cooper S with a John Cooper Works Tuning Kit installed.  This is different from a factory JCW F56 MINI.  Where the factory JCW MINI includes the B48 engine, slightly larger turbo and additional intercooler, Clark has the B46 engine, standard turbo and the JCW Tuning Kit simply includes the John Cooper Works Pro exhaust and software tune to boost power and provide one heck of a sweet sound while motoring :).IMG_5567For comparison, let’s take a look at the published power ratings for each flavor of the F56 MINI Cooper S:

F56 Standard Cooper S:
189bhp and 280nm (206 ft/lbs) of torque

F56 Cooper S with John Cooper Works Tuning Kit:
210bhp and 300nm (221 ft/lbs) of torque

F56 Factory John Cooper Works MINI:
228bhp and 320nm (236 ft/lbs) of torque

As you can see, there is about a 20 point difference in bhp and torque between each level of vehicle.   Also keep in mind that the published power ratings are at the crank, not at the wheels.  Keeping this in mind, let’s see how Clark performed.  We did 3 proper dyno runs where the car was run and was let sitting to cool down before the next run.  A fourth run was also run immediately after the 3rd run without the car being shut off or being let to cool down so those results I have discarded, even though they were pretty consistent with the numbers obtained on the previous runs.

Dyno Run 1:20150822-Run1Temperature: 100.35 degrees
Humidity: 30%
Horsepower: 204.87 whp
Torque: 228 ft-lbs

Dyno Run 2:20150822-Run2Temperature: 99.68 degrees
Humidity: 29%
Horsepower: 205.78 whp
Torque: 235.36 ft-lbs

Dyno Run 3:
20150822-Run3Temperature: 100.21 degrees
Humidity: 29%
Horsepower: 206.53 whp
Torque: 236.99 ft-lbs

Combined Dyno Run Graph:
20150822-CombinedObviously dynos should be used for comparison purposes only.  Results on one dyno may differ on a different dyno.  That said, assuming these values are close to accurate, Clark is putting out 206.53 wheel horsepower and 236.99 ft-lbs of torque at the wheels.  If we assume a 12% drivetrain loss:

Power at the Crank:
Horsepower: 231.31 bhp

Torque: 267.80 ft-lbs 

Based on these numbers, I would say that MINI is probably quite conservative in their John Cooper Works power ratings of 228bhp and 236 ft/lbs of torque, especially considering that with just the JCW Tuning Kit, Clark has exceeded both the published horsepower and torque ratings of the factory JCW.  I do hope to have someone else with their F56 Cooper S and JCW Tuning Kit come to the October dyno day so we can have another car to compare against to see if this is the norm or if Clark is just “SuperMINI” after all 😉

Video: Baseline Dyno Run – 2016 MINI Cooper S w/ JCW Tuning Kit

I brought Clark down to Ft. Lauderdale, FL in 100 degree heat (yea yea I know – not ideal conditions) for his baseline Dyno run this weekend and I was quite impressed with how he performed.  I expect to have the raw data from the dyno shop e-mailed to me tomorrow morning so be on the look-out for a post with SAE corrected graphs and more detail.  Until then, enjoy the video below:

Video: How-To Enable Dyno Mode On An F56 MINI Cooper

Tomorrow I plan on putting Clark, my 2016 MINI Cooper S, on the dyno to obtain some baseline horsepower and torque numbers.  it was brought to my attention that newer MINIs had issues being run on the dyno due to the DSC kicking in.  Apparently the car would cut power around 3,000 rpm.  Thanks to some helpful advice from Jerry over at NM Engineering, he was able to show me how to set the MINI into “Dyno Mode”.  Below is a video I made to demonstrate the process to make it easier for people to see how it is done.

Introducing… Clark!!!

After waiting for 2 months after placing my order at Vista MINI for my 2016 MINI Cooper S, this past Saturday Clark officially became mine!!  Vista MINI and Boca Tint and Wraps did a phenomenal job with the customizations required to transform Kal-El into Clark/SuperMINI!!

Clark / SuperMINI (the Superman MINI Cooper S)

An awesome group of MINIacs from the local Gold Coast MINIs area and even from Jacksonville Area MINI Motorers (JAMM) came out to welcome Clark into the MINI family.



Clark even showed off his SuperMINI appearance package, complete with red cape!


My awesome wife made sure we had a Super chocolate cake to celebrate with and made sure everyone signed a poster to commemorate the evening!



After having fun at Vista MINI, the group motored over to a local sports bar to continue the party!

The original Team Minspeed track crew!
The original Team Minspeed track crew!
Gold Coast MINIs and JAMM
Gold Coast MINIs and Minis of Miami
Gold Coast MINIs and Minis of Miami

I can’t thank Vista MINI enough for going above and beyond to make this car buying process so enjoyable and fun.   Stay tuned for updates on some suspension upgrades coming soon among other things, thanks to NM Engineering ;).

Becoming Clark

A lot has happened since we last saw “Kal-El”.  Today he continued his transformation into “Clark” and even went on his first flight:


If you look closely, you will notice something is a little different about that exhaust… Let’s look a little closer:



As you can see, the John Cooper Works Tuning Kit / Exhaust was installed today and it sounds AMAZING!!  Also, while the exhaust was off, something blue slipped in too:


The NM Engineering rear sway bar and endlinks  should get rid of any understeer :).  Lastly, some more JCW bits were added to add to the theme.  I have no idea why MINI USA doesn’t offer a JCW in Deep Blue Metallic.  I just love this color combo in the JCW trim:



Tomorrow the roof transforms into Chili Red.  Stay tuned for more updates later this week!!

The Arrival Of Kal-El

Earlier today, my 2016 MINI Cooper S arrived at Vista MINI !!  Of course I rushed right over to check him out :).  If you haven’t read my previous posts, I am doing a Superman theme and the car will eventually have a Chili Red roof and other Chili Red accents in addition to the JCW Tuning Kit.  However, until that happens, the car is in the “Kal-El” stage of his Superman journey 😉


The transformation into “Clark” begun a few hours after he arrived at the dealership:


IMG_2561I really like how the front end of the car is taking shape.  The gloss black grill surround really does make the front end look much more aggressive and hides that front big pedestrian bumper!

Stay tuned for more updates as the week goes on!


Coming Soon: 2016 MINI Cooper S – Clark (aka SuperMINI)

It has been a busy summer so far!  Between trying to find a good home for my 2006 MINI Cooper S, Scooter, and preparing for the arrival of my new 2016 MINI Cooper S, Clark (as in Clark Kent), things have been pretty hectic lately.  I can finally see the end of the tunnel, however.  In just over a week, Scooter’s new owner will be flying down to pick him up and bring him back to his new home in Indiana.


While that is bittersweet, the arrival of my new MINI is just around the corner.  Just two days ago, my 2016 MINI arrived at the VPC in Brunswick, Georgia aboard the K-Line vessel, Eurasian Highway, and, today, went through vehicle processing.  Unfortunately at this time, 2016 models are being held at the VPC, but hopefully they will be released within the next week so I am not without a car for too long.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 4.44.29 PM

With Clark’s release date coming any day now, I figured I would finally share information on the build as well as what I have planned and what items have already been ordered/received in preparation for his arrival.  Here is how Clark (or should I say, “Kal-El”, if we are keeping with the Superman theme and since technically he won’t be “Clark” until the mods start lol) will arrive at Vista MINI before any customization begins:

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.38.06 AM

Model: 2016 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 2 Door 6 Speed Manual
Color: Deep Blue Metallic with White Roof/Mirror Caps
Upholstery: Leatherette Carbon Black
Fully Loaded Package, including:
Premium Package
– Comfort Access Keyless Entry System
– Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof
– Storage Package
– Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System
Sport Package
– Dynamic Damper Control Suspension
– LED Headlights with Cornering Lights
– LED Fog Lights
– White Turn Signals
– 17″ Tentacle Spoke Silver Wheels
Wired Package
– Navigation System XL
– Enhanced Bluetooth and USB/iPod adapter
– MINI Connected + Visual Boost XL
– Center Armrest with Mobile Device Docking
– Realtime Traffic Information
John Cooper Works Interior Package
– JCW Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel
– Sports Seats
– JCW Stainless Steel Pedals
– JCW Door Sills
– JCW Leather Shift Knob
– Anthracite Headliner
JCW Rear Spoiler
Alarm System
Chrome Line Interior
Rear Fog Lights
MINI Heads-Up Display

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.38.19 AM

You may recall that I originally was going to order a factory John Cooper Works 6 speed manual.  However, after playing around with a Cooper S with the John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit Exhaust, I quickly changed my mind and decided to go that route instead.  My JCW Pro Tuning Kit arrived a few weeks ago ahead of the car!  One other factor that played into my decision was that MINI will not let you order a JCW in Deep Blue Metallic.  Instead, you have to opt for the darker, Lapis Luxury Blue (a $1000 option!).  Since Lapis Luxury Blue was a tad too dark for the “Superman” theme I was shooting for, going with a Cooper S and adding the JCW bits later just made sense.

One thing I would need to do in order for the idea in my head to become reality was to figure out how to make the roof and mirror caps Chili Red.  While the factory JCW has an option for Chili Red roof and mirrors, no such option exists for a Cooper S, unfortunately.  That left me deciding between painting a brand new car’s roof or going with a professional wrap job.  Using a wrap would be the most cost-effective method, however, the JCW spoiler has a few curves that would make wrapping difficult.   In the end, I decided to use a hybrid approach of painting the mirror caps, brake ducts and JCW spoiler Chili Red and using a Chili Red color-coded vinyl to wrap the rest of the roof.


I really liked the Chili Red accents from the factory JCW that were used on the front grill and side indicators.  Unfortunately, these parts are not available in the US market just yet.  As a result, I had to order them from Europe thanks to eBay and some help from Luis “The MINI Part Guru” at Tom Bush MINI.  Since the car is being fitted with the JCW Pro Tuning Kit and exhaust (not to mention the JCW Interior Package), I felt it was acceptable to add these JCW bits to the exterior.


It is no secret that the front bumper of the F56 MINI Cooper S sticks out like a sore thumb (due to European pedestrian crash standards).  The chrome grill surround does not help draw attention to this, unfortunately.  To remedy that, I decided to order a chrome grill surround and get it wrapped in a glossy black vinyl so it is ready to put on the car when it arrives.  This should help blend the front bumper into the car a bit better (why doesn’t MINI USA offer this as an option from the factory is beyond me!).


Originally I was going to opt for the John Cooper Works Pro Suspension option.  Unfortunately I was informed after I ordered my car that the JCW Suspension is not compatible with cars that have the Dynamic Dampers installed.  As a result, I am researching adding the nm Engineering lowering springs to the car to help with ride height and to stiffen the suspension up a bit (stay tuned for future updates on that!).  One thing that I decided to order straight away, however, was the nm Engineering 22mm adjustable rear sway bar and end links to help reduce the understeer inherent in the vehicle.


So there you have it!  Hopefully within a week I can start transforming “Kal-El” into “Clark” lol.  Oh – I almost forgot!!  The good folks at Boca Tint and Wrap who are doing my roof wrap and tint are also making a nice Superman “S” logo magnet that I will be able to use for MINI events and car shows.  This will will allow “Clark” to change into “SuperMINI” when the need arises ;).


I will continue to post updates as the process continues so check back soon!

Video: F56 MINI Challenge Race at Brands Hatch

Check out Dan Prosser try his hand at racing the new F56 MINI Challenge car at the famous Brands Hatch raceway!!  Amazing power being put down by the Cooper S engine!!  275hp sure would be fun to drive :).  I also kinda like what they did to the front end of the F56.  I am sure the aftermarket will have an aero bumper attachment in body color soon to cover the black front bumper!