Posted by Phil on 5/23/2018 to Shop Projects & Shows
If you've never driven a 1st or 2nd generation Mini Cooper S or John Cooper Works edition, you're missing out. These cars come from the factory with a bunch of power, a manual transmission with an excellent feel, capable brakes, and a stiff chassis that inspires confidence when you chuck it into a corner. They've gotten pretty affordable, too- low mileage R56 Cooper S models can be had for under $10k!
As fun as they are, though, there's one thing about them that keeps them from being a perfect daily-driver. The ride is just too stiff! Drive one for a day, especially if it's still on run-flat tires, and you'll be sore the next day!
Our customer Greg brought his John Cooper Works model to us with this exact complaint- the car was super fun to drive, but it usually sat in the garage in favor of more comfortable cars for day-to-day use. Fortunately for him, Air Lift Performance has front and rear strut kits that essentially bolt right in, and the difference in comfort is unbelievable.
We installed the Air Lift front and rear struts, along with their 3P pressure-based digital management system, and rounded out the air suspension with a powder coated Seamless aluminum tank and dual Viair 480C air compressors. Everything fits neatly in the hatch - he didn't need to carry anything back there, anyway!
Greg's Mini isn't all show and no go- he's got a bunch of aftermarket parts on that little engine to back up the looks! A larger turbo and intercooler, cold air intake, heat shield, and front and rear strut braces and sway bars make this little car a rocket! The stock John Cooper Works brakes work perfectly in conjunction with the 18" Volk Racing wheels and sticky tires. Overall, he's built a car that's eager to dive into any corner, but is still tame enough to take out for a calm drive around town.
If we've convinced you to go out and grab a Mini Cooper of your own, be sure to contact us to help you sort out the suspension! Visit www.twistedimages.com and check out all of the options we have, and feel free to message us directly with any questions!