Mini 3-cylinder Cooper Tuning - 2015 Mini Cooper Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Mini 3-cylinder Cooper Tuning

Hi guys,

I must say I'm impressed with the performance that the Cooper's 3 Cylinder engine outputs. After having driven it on mainly B-roads for over 2000km It's given me some smiles. However, I'm sure a lot of us would share the urge to explore how far we could take this beautiful piece of modern engineering.

Everyone is talking about the tuning of the Cooper S, and there's been some success in improving performance and so forth... but to me the most revealing fact is that our engine is practically the same or very similar to the one found in the new BMW i8:

"Then, at the rear, a new 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, rated at 231 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The same engine is also used in the new 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop, albeit in a slightly lesser state of tune"

(http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/bmw_i8_2014)

Now, I'm far from being an expert and have limited knowledge and info about this particular case and tuning in general, but if the actual mechanics and physical parts of the engine are identical to that of the i8, this would mean that with a performance tuning of the ECU a whole lot of power could be unleashed!

Cooper 134 hp VS. i8 231 hp... Even if we could only tap into 20-40% of those potential gains in performance (due to other restrictions and components that are not part of the engine, eg/ exhaust, air intake, etc). It would make our Coopers and absolute Hoot to drive and potentially rival the performance of a Cooper S. Too good to be true?

If i were a tuner, I'd be digging deeper into this, because it 'sounds' promising.

(Now it's when I wait for someone to burst my bubble and tell me I'm an ignorant )
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post #2 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 09:54 AM
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Not ignorant, but solutions will have to come from the aftermarket works, as it would be silly business management to make the 1.5 faster than the 2.0, especially when the 1.5 is already a better-handling car due to less weight up front.

I'm a fan of the 1.5, and the i8 info shows what waiting under there!
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post #3 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 10:22 AM
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Hi... Friend, you can get some extra hp's from youre poket rocket !!!!!

Good news...

http://burgertuning.com/mini_cooper_...nce_tuner.html

Then you can install some intake and exhaus....... Parts..... When they come available in the market...
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MCS. B48 Burger tuned looooots of fun !!!!! GTI KILLER .....
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Last edited by Maximuz; 09-04-2014 at 10:24 AM.
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post #4 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 12:06 PM
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Don't get too optmistic, as the turbocharger is very important in the output of a modern turbo engine and BMW seem to give Mini engines basic technology turbos, whereas the same cylinder block gets a twin-scroll turbo to make much more power in BMW models. And swapping a turbo isn't either cheap or easy.

But the only power curve I've seen for a F56 Justa is barely a curve at all - see below from autombile-catalog.com (I've no idea if this is 'official' but it looks plausible). The flat lines in that curve do suggest that the engine is 'ECU-limited' though liberating the bigger numbers that are probably available may make a peaky-er and less pleasant engine to drive - though of course small boys will always prefer big numbers.



The same source also has a power curve for the 1200cc One which looks very similar:

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post #5 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 02:41 PM
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You are aware that both MINI engines get twin-scroll turbos?

Not sure of the 2.0, but the 1.5 gets 8 lbs of boost, which it builds early and keeps all the way to redline.

It's highly possible that BMW are using various sizes of turbos, but that twin-scroll is why they can spin up at such low RPMs.
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post #6 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 02:41 PM
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I am with you Don draper I d don't think it'll be long before some one brings out a big upgrade. If you look at what the after market tuners do to the Nissan gtr the 1.5 mini has massive potential. Just need the right people on it. Ecu exhaust breathing bigger injectors boost pressured all doable if the right people l e get involved .
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post #7 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Great replies!... It'd be great if we can keep the ball rolling and inform each other of findings about this.

Ismith42 & Jeremybingham: Great to see others share the excitement. I feel it's likely the Cooper's engine has been quite heavily limited just by the ECU in order to make it a bit more 'tame' and appeal to a wider range of drivers that fall in different demographics. After all its the mid-range choice, arguably the most popular and they can't make it too powerful and have to be reasonably conservative... which i think definitely reflected in it's gear ranges. Having said that, its quite impressive if you surpass 3000rpm and in the low revs its very pleasant.

Maximuz: Thanks for pointing us out to that, looks quite ok. Perhaps once its out of its Beta state it's the kind of upgrade I'd consider. I'm based in Spain, so it's tough to do any 'visible' tuning upgrades in order to pass the government tests. An ECU chip that you can plug and unplug is the most feasible solution for me, which means gains will also be marginal, but the numbers that these guys get already are not bad at all and I somehow feel its just a fraction of what could be done. In any case there are ways to legalise certain 'physical' upgrades so I'm interested in checking out all options.

Angib: Interesting data, and I agree the flat lines seem to suggest an ECU limit. If the ECU tuners are good and put some time into it, it shouldn't provide too much of an unpleasant ride, but i definitely see your point. It could actually make it a bit more diesel-like than it already is (as i do find some similarities to a diesel as it is) As far as I'm aware our engine is also a twin-scroll, However this doesn't mean it's be same component as that found in the i8's. We'll have to see what they come up with.
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post #8 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 03:55 PM
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I wasn't aware that the F56 turbos were twin-scroll, but I still wonder if they are as high-tech as the ones used in BMWs.

This American vendor is offering F56 tuning kits form $379 (about £230) and it's interesting that they say the boost increases are:
- from 8psi to 11psi on the B48 (4 cylinder, ie 2.0 Cooper S);
- from 17psi to 20psi on the B38 (3 cylinder, ie 1.5 Cooper).

Which suggests that the Cooper is 'working harder' than the Cooper S - which is surprising considering the S has a higher specific output of 94.5hp/litre compared to the Cooper's 89.3hp/litre.
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post #9 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 03:57 PM
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Oops, left out the American vendor's URL - Burger Tuning
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post #10 of 47 Old 09-04-2014, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angib View Post
I wasn't aware that the F56 turbos were twin-scroll, but I still wonder if they are as high-tech as the ones used in BMWs.

This American vendor is offering F56 tuning kits form $379 (about £230) and it's interesting that they say the boost increases are:
- from 8psi to 11psi on the B48 (4 cylinder, ie 2.0 Cooper S);
- from 17psi to 20psi on the B38 (3 cylinder, ie 1.5 Cooper).

Which suggests that the Cooper is 'working harder' than the Cooper S - which is surprising considering the S has a higher specific output of 94.5hp/litre compared to the Cooper's 89.3hp/litre.
Pretty sure that's an error, but it would be good to double check.
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