Remember that scene in The Italian Job, when three Mini Coopers had to jump the Fiat factory’s roof to escape the pursuing policemen? Had they been three of these Mini Coopers, we suspect they would have made it a little further than the next building across. We’re thinking somewhere around Pluto.
Yes, this is a Mini Cooper. Yes, it was originally built in 1974. And yes, it looks like a Mini. It has the proportions of a Mini. Except it is not a Mini. It is a hyperspace machine. It has—and there’s no more fluff to be inserted here—500hp.
Five. Hundred. Horsepower. In something weighing as much as a squeaky dog toy. It is the work of a company called Gildred Racing, which will build just 10 of these so-called ‘Super Cooper Type S’ models because that’s really enough.
Underneath, said company deemed it prudent to shoehorn in a 3.2-liter Honda V6 in the back (originally deployed in an early Noughties Acura CL coupe), upgraded to 3.5 liters thanks to a new crank. This engine benefits from forged pistons, fancy connecting rods, 850cc fuel injectors...and a Rotex supercharger.
Because a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 would barely get out of its own way in a Mini, right? Forced induction equals 502hp and 519Nm of torque, all fired through a six-speed manual gearbox, at a set of 13-inch rear wheels. The results are...hilarious. Hilariously fast, that is: 0-60mph (97kph) takes just 4sec.
Some braking occurs via 9.5-inch vented discs with four-piston Wilwood calipers, and suspending comes via fully-adjustable coilovers. Inside, as you would expect, it’s all custom. And, as you would expect, quite excellent. There’s a 9.7-inch iPad integrated neatly into the center console, a fancy Alpine stereo, touch start, a ‘Super Cooper’ switch panel, a motorsport-style steering wheel, and chrome dials.
Gildred Racing reckons on $150,000 (P7.5 million) for this Type S. Yes, that’s a lot, but for something that looks fairly original, for something capable of humiliating most road-going cars apart from the really, really special stuff, for 500 horses, for something so rare. You just would, wouldn’t you?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.