After many years of selling the same parts over and over it has become very clear to see which perform the best and which combination creates the most power with the most livable results. There are tons of exhaust systems out there and too many intakes and pulleys. Combine that with lots of misrepresentation from tuners and retailers alike and ta-da; you're confused.
I have personally had nearly every exhaust system and intake system that we offer on the project car and have had a chance to live with each for enough time to get a sense for how it performs. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that there are a few setups that are the best, in my opinion. The exhaust of choice is the Milltek. I could not find a reason to swap it out after having a handful of other great systems but the Borla is a close second. The Borla RACE is on the loud side and the Street version is almost too quiet for some. I would put the Borla Street as the quietest followed by the Milltek and Megan RAcing, then the Alta and then Borla Race and then the Magnaflow (too loud for some people but not as loud as most 'fart can Hondas') There is nothing wrong with any of the other systems on our site but the Milltek just 'sits' right with me. If I did not think the other systems were worth owning I would not sell them. The Milltek just sounds good all the time, producing a nice mature tone; no drone. Simple install, solid construction and craftsmanship make it my favorite. The Borla, Alta and Magnaflow perform very well too but the Milltek matches my needs best. Borla, Milltek and Magnaflow all tend to produce similar, strong gains on dynos even after putting into account what the dyno operator had for lunch or how much sleep he got and the phase of the moon. New to the list in 2013 is the Invidia exhaust which is similar in construction to most of the other aftermarket exhausts for the MINI but has a 'burnt' style set of tips which has a unique look. It too is a great value and has proven to make good power in line with the other brands.
Out of all the intakes on the market, there are a few that stand out. If I think they have merit, they are on the site. The Alta and JCW intake are on the top of my list followed closely by the KN Typhoon, Cravenspeed and DDM. I have lived with nearly all of them for at least 4 months each. You can't go wrong with any of the intakes as they are all going to perform great and will sound similar. The Alta has a slightly higher pitch to it at full throttle but that's about it. They all produce similar HP gains. There is virtually no risk to the car when installing a cold air or standard upgraded intake on your MINI.
To top it off, a 15% V2 Alta or Cravenspeed (15 or 17%) pulley in place of the stock (very lame supercharger pulley) will bring the MINI up to speed. The stock pulley is just a dog and doing the pulley swap makes the supercharger work a little bit more and you can feel it. Everywhere. It has proven to be safe and out of the many thousands of pulleys we have sold over the years we have only heard of one or two that have caused superchargers to go bad, which quite honestly could have been a host of other issues that I hear of like belt tensioners going bad as well as plain old defective superchargers from the factory or abuse.
Most professional MINI mechanics will recommend putting in a spark plug that is better suited to handle the change in performance from doing these particular mods, so we also include Beru Ultra X colder heat range spark plugs, NGK, Brisk OR the Denso Iridium IK22 plugs to keep your car performing at its best.
Because no car should be without a set of upgraded spark plug wires, we also include a set of Nology Hotwires (blue, black, yellow or red) or Kingsborne 8mm Firebraid plug wires in either Red, Blue, or Black.
All of these mods have proven themselves over time and when combined (even with some variation) produce the perfect balance of power for your dollar leaving your car the way, in my opinion, it should have left the factory.
Lets face it. The stock Gen 1 Cooper S is a flat out dog off the line. Blame it on gearing, heavy tires and wheels, or whatever. It is plain sluggish and don't even think about turning the air conditioner on.....
If your dealer refuses to work on your car because of this 'scarlet letter' in your engine bay, do yourself a favor and search "magnuson-moss warranty act" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson-Moss_Warranty_Act), print it out, give to your dealer and smile. Of course you may need to hand them your keys so they can fix your power steering pump or your whatever that has stopped working. Of course, after your warranty has expired, it doesn't matter anyway.
IMPORTANT: We don't include dyno numbers with this kit as other vendors and tuners do because it is just plain crazy to think that putting these mods on any Cooper S will generate the exact same results time and again. I have seen dyno charts from STOCK cars that pound on cars with 5K in mods as well as cars with this exact list of parts that pound on cars with 5K in mods. Every dyno is different. Every car is different. Time of day, location, position of fan in relation to the car, dyno operator, build date and what size shoes the guy at the MINI factory had on when the engine was installed all play into how dyno results are achieved. Just know that this is a great kit and you will have what I (and many other experienced MINI tuners) consider to be good products.
Do yourself a favor. Consider it a doggy treat for your bulldog MINI. Get this Speed kit. Have it installed by a professional and enjoy. When you're ready, look into a ECU reprogramming like the Unichip or other custom tuned engine mapping and you'll have a car that will easily perform as well as the JCW at a fraction of the cost.
EXHAUST: Milltek, Megan Racing, Invidia, Magnaflow,OR Borla Street or Race (Milltek is the only variant specific to the convertible- BUT other systems will fit with minor tweaking during install) (see drop down menu- prices update with options)
INTAKE: Choice of leading intakes (see drop down menu- prices update with options)
SPARK PLUGS: Beru 'colder' Plugs OR Denso Irridium IK22 plugs
WIRES: Kingsborne 8mm Firebraid Plug Wires in Red, Black, or Blue OR
Nology Hotwires (see drop down menu- prices update with options)
PULLEY: Alta V2 OR Cravenspeed 15% OR Cravenspeed 17% pulley (see drop down menu- prices update with options)
No belt is included with this kit as a stock belt can be used with the 15% pulley. If you have more than 40K miles, we suggest putting on a fresh belt and if you do a 17% pulley you will need to get a smaller belt.
This MINI Cooper Stage 2 Speed Kit is one of the many MINI Cooper Parts and Accessories that we carry and fits the following MINI Cooper Models and Years:
R52S MINI Cooper S Convertible: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 (Milltek exhaust option only unless the install shop does some minor tweaking to the other exhausts so they don't rattle.)
R53S MINI Cooper S: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Please note, we can ship all of the items in this kit via UPS Ground for free EXCEPT the exhaust systems which tend to cost as little as $50 (for the Borla, Megan and Alta) but the Magnaflow and Milltek cost roughly $140 to ship to most locations in the lower 48 states. We will contact you to confirm once you order is processed. Even though the website will show this item qualifies for free shipping at checkout, this is one of the few exceptions.
This Stage 2 Speed Kit is one of the many MINI Cooper Parts and Accessories that we carry and will fit the following MINI Cooper Models and Years:
Gen1 MINI:R52-S MINI Cooper S Convertible: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
R53-S MINI Cooper S Hatchback: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
R-Fifty WHAT?? Confused about what model MINI you have? We’re here to help. Check this out for more information.
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