Category Archives: Reviews

Test Drive: Tesla Model S

Let me start off by saying – I have no intentions of getting rid of my 2016 MINI Cooper S!!  I love my MINI and I plan on driving it for a long time and remaining an active member of the MINI enthusiast community.  As mentioned in my previous post, we also plan on keeping my wife’s 2012 MINI Cooper S Countryman in the family for my son to use once he gets his driver’s license.  He will be getting his learner’s permit in 2019 so we have a few years to figure out exactly what we are going to do, but there is no harm in seeing what’s out there, right?IMG_6741 Continue reading Test Drive: Tesla Model S

Month Long 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman Review

Last month I had the privilege of getting a full month of in-depth seat time with MINI’s latest Clubman thanks to my local dealer, Vista MINI in Coconut Creek, FL.  My ride for the month was a 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman in Midnight Black with 17” Black Net Spoke Wheels, Black Jack mirror caps & side markers and front chrome driving lamps.  Since I was used to driving Clark in Superman colors, it was obvious that I had to name this Clubman, Bruce (as in Bruce Wayne lol).   Continue reading Month Long 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman Review

Is the NM Eng. Power Module The New Pulley?

Back when I owned my 2006 MINI Cooper S, there was one performance upgrade that just about everyone had on their supercharged MINIs that was known as the best “bang for the buck” – the supercharger reduction pulley.  The most common size was the 15% reduction pulley and it delivered about a 25 point increase in horsepower and torque for about $300-$400, including installation.

Fast-forward to today and MINIs are no longer supercharged.  The twin scroll turbo has replaced the supercharger and according to the data from our most recent dyno day, there may just be a mod that delivers about the same, if not more, “bang for the buck” for the new turbo MINIs – the NM Engineering Power Module!


Continue reading Is the NM Eng. Power Module The New Pulley?

Clark: Final Exterior Details

So this week I received the last planned exterior detail to complete Clark’s transformation – Chili Red door handle covers!  These were hard to find – let me tell you!!  Apparently due to the various versions of door handles on the F56 MINI (ie. comfort access, non-comfort access, etc.), many MINI aftermarket vendors are not carrying colored door handles anymore.  Luckily I was able to find a reputable vendor in China that delivered these beauties as promised.

The handles cost $112 and attach over your existing chrome handles with adhesive tape and provide the comfort access hole cut out already for a great fit.  The only modification I chose to do to the handles was to use a Dremel to cut-out a notch for the small LED light on the bottom of the door handle so the light would shine down (this is not required if you don’t care about the light, but I wanted the light to shine on the ground when I opened the door).

IMG_0970I also decided to black out my chrome beltline with some 3M Super 88 vinyl tape to complete the de-chroming.  Awesome stuff by the way at under $4 a roll! IMG_0973Big thanks to Lam Lan of Car & Woman Mini Cooper Shop for making sure I received exactly what I needed.  If you are interested in some custom door handles or other custom pieces for your MINI, check out their site on AliExpress:

Car & Woman Mini Cooper Shop

New Wheels In Preparation of JCW Brakes

If you have been following Clark’s progress over the past month or so, you know of the struggles in finding an aftermarket wheel that will clear the JCW brakes on the F56.  My JCW brakes have been sitting in a box in the garage for almost a month waiting for new wheels to be installed that will clear the large calipers.  After a lot of work on behalf of Jerry at NM Engineering, Clark is now sporting new wheels that not only will clear the JCW brakes, but also helps complete his “Superman” theme 🙂


I decided to go with the 17×8″ RSe05’s with a +45 offset and the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in a 215/45-17 configuration.  The wheels are so much lighter than the stock wheels that the difference was noticeable right out of the gate.  So far the Pilot Super Sports are WAY stickier than the OEM Hankook run-flats so handling has improved immensely.  I couldn’t be happier with the way the wheels came out and highly recommend contacting Jerry at  NM Engineering if you need some custom wheels for your F56 JCW!  You can reach Jerry at (800) 423-3623

2 Weeks Of F56 Ownership

So far Clark has proven to be one fun ride!!  I am amazed at the amount of torque this MINI has without any noticeable torque steer. Since most of the torque is being produced below 4500 rpm, I am having no trouble staying below the recommended rpm limit during break-in period.  Speaking of which, I am just about at 1250 miles and getting ready to have my first oil change to flush out any break-in residue that may be floating in the oil.  With engines these days, there most likely isn’t anything floating around in there, but I am old school when it comes to the first oil change getting done early.  Can’t hurt…IMG_6428 Continue reading 2 Weeks Of F56 Ownership

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: