Experts’ Recommended MINI Cooper Performance Upgrades
We recently created an article outlining the best MINI Cooper Performance Parts and Upgrades.
This comprehensive guide to Mini Cooper Performance Parts is intended to help you extract more performance out of your Mini Cooper. And while the article is focused on the 2nd generation Rxx Mini Cooper S models, many of the principles of upgrading to performance parts can be applied to any Mini Cooper model how they impact performance.
And while we highly recommend you read our Performance Parts and Upgrades article, we thought it might be helpful to show you what our experts recommend.
Cold Air Intake
Not only do you benefit from increased air into the engine but you get the side benefit of the growl at full throttle, the whine from the turbo, and the sounds from the bypass valve when it releases boost at throttle-off. We see 'typical' gains in the 4-6 hp range with Intake upgrades (less with the K&N filter only upgrade).
- Find The Cold Air Intake that Fits Your MINI.
Cat Back Exhaust
Once you improve the flow into the engine, you should upgrade the exhaust to allow better flow out of the engine. We see 'typical' gains in the 8-10 hp range with Intake upgrades.
- See our Mini Cooper Cat Back Exhaust Application Guide for the right exhaust for your MINI.
The ECU software is the software inside the Minis main computer (ECU) that controls how the engine runs (among other functions). The stock software from the factory is developed with a delicate balance between fuel economy, durability, and performance. 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.
- Learn more on our quick-read article on the MINI Cooper ECU Chip.
- Find an ECU Upgrade for your MINI Cooper.
If the ECU software upgrade sounds too intimidating, take a look at Sprint Booster! This tiny module is like putting your Sport Mode on steroids, and yes it works in conjunction with Sport Mode. Takes about 15 minutes to install or remove, and it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee!
Rear Anti-Sway Bar
The factory suspension is intentionally setup with under steer if the car enters a corner too fast. For those focused on performance Rear Anti-Sway Bars allows you to have a more 'neutral' suspension where the car turns more easily instead of under steer and improves handling.
Rotor upgrades aren’t considered much but if you’re replacing your brake pads, we recommend always replacing your brake rotors. And if you’re going for looks and performance, make sure you get rotor upgrades available that are slotted, drilled, or slotted and drilled. The slots and drilled are options that are designed for better cooling of the rotors and for expelling brake dust.
If you’re considering upgrading your brake rotors, you should upgrade your brake pads too as they work hand in hand. EBC brake pads are a high performance brake pad that will fit your MINI.
High Performance Brake Fluids
Brake fluid can be a critical element in reducing brake fade (or vapor lock)
- DOT4 Brake Fluid - Standard
- Ate Performance Brake Fluid - Good
- Motul Racing Brake Fluid - Better
- Torque Racing Brake Fluid - Best
Don’t forget Our MINI Cooper Performance Parts Article
For a comprehensive guide to all Performance Parts and Upgrades, check out our MINI Cooper Performance Parts article.