This handcrafted classic Mini WRX is a mid-engined, RWD Go-Kart

Steve from Australia built himself a classic Mini powered by a Honda VTEC engine a few years ago and was proud of the work he did. However, it was a bit of a torque vectoring beast and just wasn’t great to drive. In addition, VTEC Mini swaps are being done nowadays. So he decided to build something different, completely on his own, in his garage, and he created one of the most impressive engine-swapped Minis I’ve ever seen by stuffing a Subaru WRX engine behind the front seats.

This makes it look a little raw, but Steve’s WRX-powered machine is anything but raw. He started with a bone stock Mini and stripped it down to his bare metal frame. Next, he worked out the dimensions to see if the turbocharged Boxer engine from the WRX would fit. To ensure that it was done properly, safely and legally, he consulted with an engineer throughout the construction and it paid off.

Once he realized they were suitable, and the engineer confirmed his plans, he began work on cutting the floor behind the seats and building a custom box frame to support the engine and stiffen the structure. The engine and transmission fit without any other modifications to the Mini’s body or wheelbase, so it has the same footprint as the original. Ironically, the engine is easier to work on in Mini than in Subaru. Not only is there more clearance but you can access the engine from either side, through the rear hatch or the interior firewall.

The engine is almost entirely stock, so it makes about 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, but in a car that weighs barely more than 2,000 pounds, that’s more than enough. The only modification to the engine is an updated overhead intercooler with air intakes in the rear quarter windows.

One of the cooler aspects of the build is the sunroof. Classic Minis weren’t fitted with sunroofs in the 1960s, so Steve buys a roof from a wrecked BMW-era R56 Mini. Then he cut out its sunroof and welded it to the classic Mini roof. Not only does it look smooth, but it works perfectly.

It is impossible to do justice to Steve’s work in words. If you watch the video from fullboostYou can see how well it’s built. On the outside, it looks like a slightly modified purple Mini from the 1960s, but the only small pieces on the car are the original bodywork and wiper motor. Everything else Steve built in his garage at home and it has to be one of the coolest classic engine-swapped Minis on the road.

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